The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, two-time defending league champion, is the preseason choice to secure the 2013 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball crown, according to the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.
The Pointers, who received 12 first-place votes in the poll, are coming off a 2011-12 campaign when they collected a share of the sixth WIAC regular-season championship in program history, won their fifth consecutive conference tournament crown and made their ninth NCAA Division III Championship appearance.
UW-Stevens Point is ranked seventh nationally in preseason polls conducted by D3hoops.com and the USA Today/ESPN Division III Top 25, which was released by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Senior Sam Barber is the reigning WIAC Player of the Year after leading the league with a .434 three-point field goal percentage and ranking second with 14.5 points per game. A season ago, the Pointers finished 10th in NCAA Division III in assist-turnover ratio (1.04) and 13th in field goal percentage (.439). Head Coach Shirley Egner enters her 24th season in charge of the program with a conference-best 433 victories.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets, who return 13 letterwinners and three starters from last year’s squad that made the conference tournament for the first time since 2004, were picked to finish in sixth place.
The Yellowjackets were the third-highest scoring team in the league last season, averaging 64.7 points per contest. Senior Connie Urmanski is the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made with 157 and is 147 points shy of reaching 1,000 in her career.
UWS coach Don Mulhern is beginning his seventh season with the Yellowjackets. He is 46-105 at UWS and 172-210 in 16 season as a head coach.
UWS also returns Sally Linzmeier, a sophomore guard, who was all-conference honorable mention and on the all-defensive team last season. Urmanski was honorable mention last season and in 2010.
2012-13 Preseason Predictions
1. UW-Stevens Point (12) 24-5 13-3
2. UW-Whitewater (6) 22-7 12-4
3. UW-Eau Claire 21-7 13-3
4. UW-River Falls 21-7 12-4
5. UW-La Crosse 16-10 9-7
6. UW-Superior 12-14 5-11
7. UW-Platteville 8-17 4-12
8. UW-Stout 7-18 3-13
9. UW-Oshkosh 7-18 1-15
( )—First-place votes