ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Newbury College Nighthawks were selected fourth in the NECC 2017-2018 Women's Basketball Preseason Poll, it was announced today by the NECC Conference Office. The Nighthawks are returning two 2016-17 First Team All-Conference selections, Destiny Spears (Sr., F, Arnold, Md.) and Savannah Olsen (Jr., F, Battle Creek, Mich.). Olsen led the conference with 20.1 points per game in league play, while Spears averaged 19.1 points per game in conference play, while also collecting 12.4 rebounds per game.
Becker College has been voted first by the conference coaches in the 2017-18 Women's Basketball preseason poll. The 2016-17 Hawks had a breakout season under the NECC Coach of the Year, David Bostick, who led the Hawks to a 13-5 record in NECC regular season play, while also making it to the NECC Semifinals. Bostick will return for Becker, as will 11 of 14 players from last year's squad, including the 2017 Rookie of the Year, Cassidy Harrison (So., G, Foxborough, Mass.). In her rookie campaign, Harrison averaged 15.5 points per game, while shooting 36.4 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent from behind the arc. 2017 Third Team All-Conference selection, Adrianna Dowdy (Jr., F, East Haven, Conn.)will also look to make an impact for the Hawks.
In its first full year as a member of the NECC, Dean College has taken the second spot. The Bulldogs are led by the fifth-year head coach, Grahm Smith. In 2016-17, the Bulldogs finished the season ranked ninth in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division 1 National Poll, with an overall record of 22-8. Smith's team also qualified for an at-large bid to the USCAA Division 1 National Tournament.
Elms College comes in right behind Dean in the third spot. Elms reached the 2017 Championship game while finishing 13-5 in regular season conference play. The Blazers will return 10 players from last years' squad, including second-team All-Conference selection Mackenzie LaRochelle (Sr., G, Chicopee, Mass.).
Mitchell College, Wheelock College, Lesley University, Southern Vermont College and Bay Path University round out the 2017-18 Preseason Coaches Poll.
2017-18 Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
- Becker – 66 (5)
- Dean – 64 (3)
- Elms- 62 (1)
- Newbury- 45
- Mitchell- 42
- Wheelock- 38
- Lesley- 26
- Southern Vermont- 23
- Bay Path- 22