@UTTylerWBB picked to win ASC East Division

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – UT Tyler has been picked to repeat as American Southwest Conference East Division Champions and Michelle Obach, Makenzi May and D’Onna Matthews are on the ASC Watch List following a season where the Patriots went 30-2 overall and were 15-0 in conference play.

UT Tyler returns most of a roster which took a 22-game winning streak all the way to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight for the first time in program history and under the direction of coach Kendra Hassell who is entering her second season after leading the program to new heights in her first year. UT Tyler received all 13 first-place votes in the preseason poll which is conducted with head coaches, sports information offices and media members. LeTourneau is picked second in the division, followed by UT Dallas, ETBU, Louisiana College and Ozarks. Howard Payne is the top pick in the West with seven first-place votes, while UMHB is second and Hardin-Simmons third. UT Tyler won the ASC Championship last season with a 77-70 win over HPU in the finals.

Obach earned all-America honors last season after averaging 18.1 points per game and establishing a new single-season record with 576 total points. She is a preseason all-America pick return for her senior season with 108 career 3-pointers and 236 career assists. Makenzi May returns for her senior season with 166 career 3-pointers after leading the team with 75 last season and averaging 12.6 points per game. She would also add 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. D’Onna Matthews is coming off an 11.5 points and 6.2 rebound per game season as a junior. She shot 53.3 percent from the field and is second all-time in program history with 63 blocked shots after having 45 last season.

Last year’s team set new program records for wins, total points (2,677), 3-pointers (285), scoring average (83.7), rebounds (1,401), assists (569), blocked shots (93) and as the highest ranked team in program history. The team would finish second in the nation in assists, 3-pointers and total points and third in rebounds. The 83.7 points per game ranked fourth in the NCAA and led the conference with LeTourneau ranking second with 70.7 points per game. UT Tyler’s scoring margin of 18.1 points per game was far atop the ASC rankings also with Concordia second with a 4.3 margin of victory.

UT Tyler will open its season on Tuesday, Nov. 15 against Dallas Christian in Farmers Branch before traveling to play Redlands and Chapman in California on Nov. 18 and 19. The Patriots, who were 16-0 on their home court last season, will open the home portion of their schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 23 against Howard Pay and then Birmingham Southern on Monday, Nov. 28 at the Herrington Patriot Center.

ASC Women's Basketball Preseason Polls
East Division

No.  Team (First-place votes) Pts.  2015-16 Record (ASC)
1. UT-Tyler (13) 78 30-2 (15-0)
2. LeTourneau 53 17-10 (11-4)
3. UT Dallas 52 14-12 (6-9)
4. East Texas Baptist 44 17-10 (8-7)
5. Louisiana College 27 8-15 (6-9)
6. Univ. of Ozarks 19 10-13 (3-12)
  Belhaven#   8-17

# Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship / NCAA Championship (Div. III Provisional)
West Division

No.  Team (First-place votes) Pts.  2015-16 Record (ASC)
1. Howard Payne (7) 76 18-10 (10-4)
2. Mary Hardin-Baylor (4) 71 15-11 (9-5)
3. Hardin-Simmons (2) 58 10-16 (6-8)
4. Concordia Texas 45 14-12 (5-9)
5. McMurry% 28 5-19
6. Sul Ross State 17 4-21 (1-13)

% Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship / NCAA Championship (Div. III Reclassifying)
ASC Women's Basketball Preseason Watch List
East Division

Name Pos. Cl. School
Candler Gregory G Sr. Belhaven
Sierra Pittman G Sr. Belhaven
Ieshia Dixon G Sr. Belhaven
Lauren Lee C Jr. East Texas Baptist
Malaisia Chisholm G Jr. East Texas Baptist
Delia Hopkins F/C Sr. East Texas Baptist
Crystal Jones* # ED G Sr. LeTourneau
LaTanya Drakes# G/F Sr. LeTourneau
Ashley Reed G Sr. LeTourneau
Rometta LombardED G So. Louisiana College
Brooke Jones C Jr. Louisiana College
Kourtney McGhee G Jr. Louisiana College
Bryanna Moltz F Sr. Univ. of Ozarks
Micaela Gonzalez# F Sr. UT Dallas
Madi Steele F Sr. UT Dallas
Kendall Festervand G/F Sr. UT Dallas
Michelle Obach* # G Sr. UT-Tyler
Makenzi May* # G Sr. UT-Tyler
D'Onna Matthews F Sr. UT-Tyler

West Division

Name Pos. Cl. School
Jaela Dejean$ G Jr. Concordia Texas
Mercedes Ellison G So. Concordia Texas
Emily Cullers G Sr. Concordia Texas
Kourtney Holyfield$ G Sr. Hardin-Simmons
Kayla Brown$ WD G Sr. Hardin-Simmons
Sarahi Castillo$ F Sr. Howard Payne
Micah Cisneroz G Gr. Howard Payne
Valarie Matlock G So. Howard Payne
Jonelle Smith* $ WD G Sr. Mary Hardin-Baylor
Kendra Wynn$ G Sr. Mary Hardin-Baylor
Antania Newton G Jr. Mary Hardin-Baylor
Sham Hunter G Jr. McMurry
Haley Welch G Sr. McMurry
Mackenzie Kimball G So. McMurry
Kenya Miles$ F So. Sul Ross State
Ashley OusleyWD G Sr. Sul Ross State
Shannon Villanueva F Jr. Sul Ross State

2015-16 All-ASC Selection*
2015-16 East Division Selection # / East Division Defensive Team ED
2015-16 West Division Selection $ / West Division Defensive Team WD