NEW ORLEANS — Arkansas State was tabbed as the favorite in the Sun Belt women’s basketball preseason coaches’ poll announced by the conference Wednesday. Red Wolves guard Aundrea Gamble was chosen as thepreseason Player of the Year.

Voting for the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team and Poll was conducted by the league’s 11 head coaches.

Gamble, a redshirt junior, was the Sun Belt Player of the Year last season as she finished second in the Sun Belt with 18.9 points per game last season. The native of McKinley, Texas, was also a member of the All-SBC first team.

The Red Wolves made it to the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament but fell to WKU 61-60 in the final. Brian Boyer’s squad returns three starters.

The UL-Lafayette duo of Keke Veal (second team) and Kia Wilridge (third team) were honored by the conference as the Ragin’ Cajuns were picked sixth amongst the 11 teams. UL-Lafayette returns all five starters from a team that was 14-16 overall and 7-11 in Sun Belt play.


Women’s basketball

Sun Belt Conference

Preseason poll

first-place votes in parentheses

1. Arkansas State (9), 118 pts.; 2. UALR (2), 112; 3. Texas State, 93; 4. Georgia State, 82; 5. Troy, 70; 6. UL Lafayette, 64; 7. South Alabama, 49; 8. Appalachian State, 47; 9. UT Arlington, 44; 10. Georgia Southern, 27; 11. UL Monroe, 20.


first team

Maryah Sydnor (Appalachian State, Senior, Forward); Taylor Gault (UALR, Senior, Guard); Aundrea Gamble (Arkansas State, RS-Junior, Guard); Erin Peoples (Texas State, Junior, Guard); Ashley Beverly-Kelley (Troy, Junior, Guard).

second team

Kiera Clark (UALR, Senior, Forward); Hanna Qedan (Arkansas State, RS-Senior, Guard); Anna Claire Knight (Georgia Southern, Senior, Guard); Brittany Logan (Georgia State, Senior, Center); Keke Veal (UL Lafayette, Junior, Guard);

Third team

Alisha Andrews (Georgia State, Senior, Guard); Kia Wilridge (UL Lafayette, Junior, Guard); Rachel Cumbo (South Alabama, Junior, Guard); Breanna Hall (South Alabama, Senior, Guard); Ayriel Anderson (Texas State, Junior, Guard);

Preseason Player of the Year

Aundrea Gamble (Arkansas State, RS-Junior, Guard)