IRVING, Texas –
Charlotte women’s basketball was selected to finish fourth in its new league according to the preseason Conference USA poll announced Monday by the league office. The 49ers collected 196 overall points with one first-place vote. Only four schools, including the top-two selections, received a first-place tally.
Fellow newcomer to the league, Middle Tennessee, was picked as the preseason favorite after earning eight of the 16 first-place votes and 244 overall points. The Blue Raiders were followed by conference returners UTEP and Tulane with 231 and 212 points, respectively. The Miners grabbed the final first-place selections with six to their credit.
Charlotte, which finished second in the Atlantic 10 a season ago with a 26-6 overall and 13-1 mark, returns two starters and seven letterwinners to this year’s squad under third-year head coach. The 49ers officially began practice last Monday, September 30.
The eight-player preseason team was led by preseason player of the year Jerica Coley of FIU. The Panthers’ senior guard was the nation’s leading scorer in 2012-13 and has her team positioned fifth in the early race with 190 points.
The Niners will continue to practice for the next four weeks, leading up to the Nov. 2 exhibition game against Johnson C. Smith at 2 p.m. inside Halton Arena. The regular season begins six days later, Nov. 8, when Charlotte plays host to Liberty at 5 p.m. in the first-half of a 49ers basketball doubleheader inside Halton Arena.
Ticket information for the 2013-14 season is available on Charlotte49ers.com or by calling (704) 687-4949. Preseason Conference USA Coaches Poll
1. Middle Tennessee (8) 244
2. UTEP (6) 231
3. Tulane 212 4. Charlotte (1) 196
5. FIU 190
6. Old Dominion 170
7. East Carolina 155
8. UAB 129
9. Tulsa 116
10. Rice 114
11. Louisiana Tech 98
12. North Texas (1) 92
13. Southern Miss 78
T14. Florida Atlantic 58
T14. UTSA 58
16. Marshall 35 Preseason Conference USA Team
Jerica Coley, FIU, Sr., Guard
Jessica Kuster, Rice, Sr., Forward
Ebony Rowe, Middle Tennessee, Sr., Forward
Shae Kelley, Old Dominion, Jr., Forward
Jamierra Faulkner, Southern Miss, Sr., Guard
Danielle Blagg, Tulane, Jr., Guard
Karisma Chapman, UAB, Sr., Forward
Kayla Thornton, UTEP, Sr., Forward