Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the West Division in the American Southwest Conference’s annual Preseason Coaches and Media Poll. The poll is based on voting from West Division coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

The Cru women took four first-place votes and 71 total points as the pick to finish second in the West. Howard Payne was picked to win the West Division with seven first-place votes and 76 total points. Hardin-Simmons claimed the other two first-place votes and 58 total points as the pick to finish third. Concordia Texas was picked fourth with 45 points, McMurry University was picked fifth with 28 total points and Sul Ross State totaled 15 points as the pick to finish sixth. Games against McMurry will count in the conference standings, but the War Hawks are not eligible for the conference tournament while completing the reclassification to NCAA Division III.

The Cru expects to return nine letter winners and three starters this season. UMHB placed three players on the ASC Women’s Basketball Preseason Watch List. Jonelle Smith is a senior guard from Pflugerville High School. Smith averaged 13.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last year. Kendra Wynn is a senior forward from Mansfield Timberview High School. Wynn averaged 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a contest last season. Antania Newton is a junior guard from San Antonio Stevens High School. Newton transferred to UMHB after earning All-Conference honors at Dodge City Junior College last year.

The Cru women finished 15-11 overall and went 9-5 in ASC play last season. UMHB will open the 2016-17 season with a home, non-conference game against Southwestern University on November 15th.