HIGH POINT, N.C. - Following their first 20-win season in over five years and their third-best season in school history, the Pfeiffer University women's basketball team has been picked to finish seventh in a preseason conference coaches' poll. Barton College was picked to finish first in the poll behind their fifth straight 20-win season and their third consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearance.
The Lady Falcons will embark on the 2013-2014 season under the guidance of first-year head coach Roy Dow who joins Pfeiffer following five successful seasons as the head coach at California Lutheran University. In his five years as head coach, Dow amassed and overall record of 81-51 and touted a .614 winning percentage. From his time at California Lutheran Dow also boasts four consecutive winning seasons, back-to-back conference tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances as well as a regular season conference title.
Pfeiffer's 2013-2014 roster will be absent four seniors from a group that finished last season with an overall record of 25-7 and a conference record of 17-5, good enough for a third place conference ranking. The 2012-2013 squad also made their first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in more than five years, and tallied their first-ever NCAA Regional Tournament win following an 84-78 decision against Anderson. The Lady Falcons said goodbye to senior Brittany Cox who finished the 2012-2013 season with 573 total points bringing her career point total to 1,519. Cox ranked 34th in the nation last year in points per game, first in the conference overall in points scored, first in the conference overall in field goals, and first in the conference overall in three-pointers. Cox was also named to the Conference Carolinas All-Conference Second Team for the 2012-2013 season and brought her career rebound total to 472 behind a career-high 197-rebound season.
Along with Cox, Pfeiffer also graduated All-Conference First Team member Christina Harvey, who finished the season with 538 points, putting her just 15 points shy of 1,000 for her career. Harvey also finished the season with 304 rebounds, good enough for 48th in the nation and bringing her career rebound total to 581. Harvey led Conference Carolinas in several stat categories for the 2012-2013 season, finishing first in offensive rebounds as well as total rebounds in overall contests and first in total rebounds and rebounds per game in conference contests. Harvey finished the season in the top ten of 12 statistical categories in overall contests ranked by the conference, and was only edged by Cox who finished the season in the top ten of 13 statistical categories.
With Barton picked to hold the top spot, the top three is rounded out by Limestone College and Mount Olive College. Limestone is coming off their best season in school history, finishing the 2012-2013 season with a 27-4 overall record and their second straight Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championship. Following their defeat of Pfeiffer in the NCAA Tournament's Second Round, the Saints enjoyed their first-ever trip to the NCAA "Sweet 16." Limestone finished last season ranked 10th in the nation in USA Today's Division II Coaches' Poll. Mount Olive enters the 2013-2014 season on the heels of a Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament first round appearance. The Trojans return three starter's from last year's squad including Jasmine McDonald who was the conference tournament MVP.
The Lady Falcons begin the 2013-2014 season on the road at Coker on November 9th and will host Catawba on November 12th for their home-opener.
Conference Carolinas Women's Basketball Preseason Poll (# of First Place Votes in Parentheses)
BARTON - 75 (5)
LIMESTONE - 71 (4)
MOUNT OLIVE - 67 (1)
KING - 48
BELMONT ABBEY - 46
NORTH GREENVILLE - 45
PFEIFFER - 38
LEES-MCRAE - 31
ERSKINE - 18
CONVERSE - 9