FRISCO, Texas — McNeese State, Northwestern State and Texas San Antonio led the way in the Southland Conference’s preseason men’s basketball polls released Wednesday.

Meanwhile, McNeese State and Texas-San Antonio topped the voting in the women’s rankings.

Northwestern State received four first-place votes to lead runner-up McNeese State and third-place finisher Lamar in the coaches’ preseason men’s East Division poll.

McNeese was tops in the sports information directors’ rankings, followed by Lamar and Northwestern State. Southeastern Louisiana was fourth in both polls.

UTSA topped both the coaches’ and sports information directors’ West Division polls.

Southeastern guard Brandon Fortenberry, McNeese State guard Patrick Richard and Northwestern State center William Mosley were named to the men’s all-conference first team.

Fortenberry, a 6-foot-1 senior, was SLU’s second-leading scorer last season, averaging 11.9 points per game.

Richard, a senior from Carencro, led McNeese in scoring with 16.1 points a game last year. He also ranked second in assists and rebounding.

Mosley, a 6-7 senior from Shreveport, led the nation with 156 blocked shots and 4.9 rejections per game last season. He averaged 7.9 points and 8.8 rebounds.

McNeese State’s junior guards Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett of Iota were named to the women’s preseason teams. Ashlyn was named to the first team while twin sister Caitlyn was a second-team selection.

Ashlyn fueled McNeese State’s 26-7 season in 2010-11, ranking second in the league in scoring (16.7) and steals (1.5). Caitlyn ranked third in the SLC with 4.4 assists per game and was second in scoring for McNeese (11.6 ppg).

Also named to the second team was Nicholls State’s KK Babin, a sophomore guard who prepped at St. Michael High School in Baton Rouge.

The season gets under way on Friday, Nov. 11, when eight SLC teams take the court.

Preseason All-SLC women

First team

G — Ashlyn Baggett, McNeese State, 5-6, Jr.

G — Kalis Loyd, Lamar, 6-2, Jr.

F — Megan Herbert, Cen. Arkansas, 5-11, Jr.

F — Britni Martin, Sam Houston State, 6-0, Jr.

F — Tammara Marion, S.F. Austin, 5-6, Sr.

Second team

G — Caitlyn Baggett, McNeese State, 5-6, Jr.

G — KK Babin, Nicholls State, 5-4, So.

G — Diamond Ford, Texas State, 5-8, Jr.

F — Sequeena Thomas, Sam Houston, 6-0, Jr.

F — Monique Whittaker, Lamar, 5-9, Sr.

Coaches preseason poll

First-place votes in parentheses


1. McNeese State (9) 64

2. Central Arkansas (2) 54

3. Lamar (1) 50

4. Northwestern State 33

5. Nicholls State 23

6. Southeastern Louisiana 22


1. Texas-San Antonio (6) 60

2. Stephen F. Austin (4) 56

3. Sam Houston State (2) 52

4. Texas-Arlington 31

5. Texas State 26

6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 21

SIDs preseason poll

First-place votes in parentheses


1. McNeese State (9) 64

2. Central Arkansas (2) 50

3. Lamar (1) 48

4. Northwestern State 34

5. Southeastern Louisiana 26

6. Nicholls State 24


1. Texas-San Antonio (5) 57

2. Stephen F. Austin (3) 56

3. Sam Houston State (3) 52

4. Texas-Arlington 31

5. Texas State (1) 28

6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2


MCNEESE STATE 100, NEW ORLEANS 42: In Lake Charles, reigning Southland Conference champion McNeese State defeated the University of New Orleans women’s basketball team 100-42 in an exhibition contest on Wednesday.

McNeese’s Ashlyn Baggett scored 15 points in the opening half on her way to a game-high 21.

Three other Cowgirls starters reached double figures including Kendra Wells (10 points, 13 rebounds, Alaina Verdin (18 points) and Candace Lacombe (17 points).

UNO was led by Spring Drake and Mechel’le Thomas with 10 points each.


NORTHWESTERN STATE 67, OUACHITA BAPTIST 65: In Natchitoches, the Demons squandered a 16-point lead but held off the Division II Tigers in an exhibition contest.

OBU’s Eric Braeuer missed a 12-foot baseline jumper in the closing seconds and Northwestern State’s Demetrice Jacobs, who committed a turnover with 14 seconds to go, controlled the rebound as time expired to preserve the victory by the Demons.

Louis Ellis scored a game-high 13 points with William Mosley adding 12 for Northwestern, which was outrebounded 58-38 and shot 51 percent (22-43) on free throws compared to 81 percent (25-31) by the Tigers.