WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: MAC preview

MAC perennial favorites Bowling Green expected to win MAC Tournament in preseason polls

Bowling Green
2008-09 Record: 29-6 (15-1)
Preseason #1 in MAC East

The Falcons finished the regular season with the best record in MAC play, only to fall to Ball State in the tournament championship game a year ago. Bowling Green is reloaded this season, returning four starters from last season including reigning MAC Player of the Year, Lauren Prochaska. The Falcons are predicted to win the MAC East for the sixth consecutive year.

Buffalo
2008-09 Record: 8-24 (2-14)
Preseason #6 in MAC East

The Bulls, who finished last in the MAC East a season ago, are predicted to place last this season. Buffalo fields five freshman and four sophomores this season. The team's leading scorer, Kourtney Brown, and Jessica Fortman will be the main offensive threats for the Bulls this season.

Kent State
2008-09 Record: 19-10 (8-8)
Preseason #2 in MAC East

Kent State will return four starters from last season, making them one of the most experienced teams in the MAC. Senior Rachel Bennett and junior Jamilah Humes return for the Golden Flashes as the leading scorers.

Toledo
2008-09 Record: 18-13 (11-5)
Preseason #1 in MAC West

The Rockets return their entire starting lineup from last season's team that finished second in the MAC West. Toledo's starters last season averaged at least eight points per game, with Tanika Mays and Naama Shafir leading the group.

Akron
2008-09 Record: 11-19 (6-10)
Preseason #4 in MAC East

All-Mid-American Conference First Team honoree Kara Murphy returns for the Zips for the 2009-10 campaign. Last season, she led the MAC in scoring with 19.3 points per game. Sophomore Kyle Baumgartner, who averaged 9.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game also returns coming off a MAC All-Freshman Team year. Akron also returns two more seniors in Ayla Guzzardo and Jolene Tamboue.

Ohio
2008-09 Record: 13-18 (7-9)
Preseason #5 in MAC East

Senior Jennifer Bushby was named to the All-MAC Team this preseason. Last season, Bushby averaged 11.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. The Bobcats return nine letterwinners from a year ago. Senior Jenny Poff also returns to help Bushby this season.

Northern Illinois
2008-09 Record: 16-15 (10-6)
Preseason #3 in MAC West

2009 Sixth Player of the Year Marke Freeman, who averaged 9.6 points and 3.3 assists per game last season, returns for the Huskies. Junior Ebony Ellis also returns for Northern Illinois and was second on the team last year in scoring. Freshman Shaakira Haywood, daughter of former NBA player Spencer Haywood, joins the Huskies this year.

Miami
2008-09 Record: 16-15 (7-9)
Preseason #3 in MAC East

The RedHawks lose their leading scorer, Jenna Schone, from last season and will be looking for offensive production from senior Courtney Reed and junior Briana Dunlap. An injury ended Dunlap's season short last season and will look to come back strong this season. Miami also welcomes four freshmen to their roster.

Eastern Michigan
2008-09 Record: 8-21 (4-12)
Preseason #5 in MAC West

The Eagles might be the youngest team in the MAC with nine freshmen and sophomores and just two seniors. On the contrast, Eastern Michigan is returning four starters on a team that struggled to get wins a year ago. Junior Cassie Schrock was the only player to start all 29 games for the Eagles and returns this season after averaging 13.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season.

Western Michigan
2008-09 Record: 7-23 (3-13)
Preseason #6 in MAC West

Molly Dwyer, Jenny Loney and Sara Vest return as the three seniors for the Broncos this season. The team also has three juniors in Brenna Bankston, Ebony Cleary and Maria Ianquaniello. The Broncos struggled for offense last season and will be counting on the upperclassmen to produce this season.

Central Michigan
2008-09 Record: 18-14 (9-7)
Preseason #4 in MAC West

Britni Houghton was named preseason All-Mid-American Conference this season. She sits at tenth on the all-time scoring chart in Central Michigan history. She will be helped by fellow senior Heidi Warczinsky who averaged 41.1 percent from three point range last season.  


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