TOWSON, Md. - The Catholic University women's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches Poll released on Thursday.
The Cardinals, who finished third a year ago with a 16-10 record and a mark of 8-6 in the conference, received 41 points, only four behind Moravian who finished fourth a year ago with identical marks of 16-10 and 8-6 in conference. The two teams split their season series with both winning on the road.
Scranton was picked to win its fifth-straight Landmark Conference championship and eighth overall. The Royals, who are currently ranked at No. 5 in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division III Top 25 Coaches' Poll, received 70 points and seven first-place votes. The Royals were 29-3 a year ago, falling to eventual national champion Thomas More in the national semifinals. They were also 12-2 in league play with one of those two losses coming at Catholic, 59-50, on Feb. 2, 2019.
Catholic and Scranton have combined to win the last eight conference championships with the Cardinals winning in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Elizabethtown, who finished second last season with a 11-3 league record, was picked second with 57 points and one first-place vote. The Blue Jays finished 19-7 overall after falling to Scranton in the championship game, 68-48.
Drew was picked fifth with 24 points, followed by Juniata (19), Susquehanna (16) and Goucher (7).
Catholic returns four starters and eight players from last year's team, including sophomore Luca Mamula who was named to the All-Landmark Conference Second Team after leading the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game, becoming the first freshman to lead the Cardinals in scoring since Brianna Peterson averaged 14.7 points during the 2007-08 season.
The Cards also return the senior trio of Mollie Reynolds, Sydney Poindexter and Megan Stafford. Reynolds started all 26 games last season while averaging 6.9 points and 3.3 assists per game while Pointdexter started all 25 games she played and averaged 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. Stafford played in all 26 games while making 25 starts and averaging 8.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.
The Cards open the 2019-20 season at home on Sunday versus Anna Maria. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.
2019-20 Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Scranton – 70 points (7)
2. Elizabethtown – 57 points (1)
3. Moravian – 45 points
4. CATHOLIC – 41 points
5. Drew – 24 points
6. Juniata – 19 points
7. Susquehanna - 16 points
8. Goucher – 7 points