Pioneers picked eighth in SAC poll, Johnson named second-team All-Conference

Pioneers picked eighth in SAC poll, Johnson named second-team All-Conference

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The Tusculum women's basketball team has been picked to finish eighth in the South Atlantic Conference preseason coaches poll, as voted on by the league's 11 head coaches and released Tuesday.

Junior forwward Kasey Johnson was a second-team preseason All-Conference selection for the Pioneers, who return three starters from last year's squad that finished 6-20 overall and tied for eighth place in the SAC with a 5-17 league record.

Johnson was named honorable mention All-SAC last season after leading the Pioneers in nearly every statistical category. The 6-footer from Greensboro, North Carolina averaged 15.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.63 blocked shots per game, ranking fifth in the SAC in scoring average, 14th in rebounding and sixth in blocks. Johnson averaged a conference-best 36.5 minutes per game and shot 49.8 percent from the field (119-for-239) to rank 10th in the league.

Johnson scored in double figures 17 times in 19 games, including a career-high 28 points against Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 18, and had four double-doubles including 25 points and 13 boards in a double-overtime win over Brevard on Jan. 25. In two seasons, Johnson has scored 596 points (13.5 points per game) and is shooting 50.6 percent from the field (240-for-474) in 44 career games.

Wingate, the defending SAC Tournament champions, received seven first-place votes in the poll and 97 points to take the top spot in the rankings. Defending regular-season champion Lincoln Memorial was second with 85 points, followed by Anderson (84), Carson-Newman (74) and Newberry (71). Catawba was sixth with 65 points, trailed by Lenoir-Rhyne (40), Tusculum (36), Queens (30), Coker (21) and Mars Hill (11).

The Pioneers will open their 2017-18 season on Friday, Nov. 10 at Pioneer Arena against Converse at 3 p.m. in the SAC/Conference Carolinas Challenge.

2017-18 South Atlantic Conference
Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Rk School Pts
1. Wingate, 97
2. Lincoln Memorial, 85
3. Anderson, 84
4. Carson-Newman, 74
5. Newberry, 71
6. Catawba, 65
7. Lenoir-Rhyne, 40
9. Queens, 30
10. Coker, 21
11. Mars Hill, 11

First Team
Danasia Witherspoon, Wingate
Terri Rogers, Catawba
Mika Wester, Carson-Newman
Shea Coker, Lincoln Memorial
Marta Miscenko, Wingate
Meg Essex, Newberry

Second Team
Nicola Handreck, Newberry
Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson
Kasey Johnson, Tusculum
Madison Baggett, Anderson
Madi Suddreth, Lenoir-Rhyne
Serena Brown, Catawba