4 Indiana NAIA D-II schools make preseason Top 25

Posted by RRR on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:44am | Page Views: 2,724

Four of Indiana’s Division II NAIA women’s basketball programs were ranked in the 2010-11 Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll released yesterday.

Indiana Wesleyan (No. 3), St. Francis (No. 8T), Bethel (No. 18)  Indiana University Southeast (No. 20) head into the 2010-11 season with high hopes for a shot at making it to the NAIA Division II National Tournament.

Last season, Indiana Wesleyan made it to the National Championship semi-finals before being ousted by Shawnee State (Ohio) in the final seconds of the game.  NAIA All-American First Teamer Elaine Hessel (Plymouth, right) returns to lead the Wildcats in her senior campaign. Last season, the 5’10 forward averaged 18.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting a blistering 60.3 percent from the field.  She will be joined by NAIA All-American Honorable Mention senior Kayla Thompson (Covenant Christian), who averaged 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. IWU, who was the Mid-Central College Conference regular season champion, opens against national D-I power Louisville in exhibition on Saturday.

St. Francis, coached for the 10th year by former Fort Wayne Luers head coach Gary Andrews, will look to senior guard Julie Seiss (Warsaw/Butler) as the Cougars leading returning scorer (13.1 ppg, 4.6 apg), as well as senior forward Chanell Ridley (FW Concordia, 8.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg). Bringing some additional firepower to the roster will be D-I transfers Amanda Pedro (FW Luers/Indiana State) and Abby Kinder (Elkhart Memorial/South Dakota). Kinder, a 5’10 senior guard/forward, averaged 11.3 points per game last season in D-I competition. The Cougars, who were 23-12 last season and the MCC conference tournament champions, will test themselves against D-I Chicago State in a scrimmage on Saturday.

Bethel returns its three leading scorers in seniors Heather Seyfred (16.5  ppg) , Mandy Yoder (15.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, NorthWood) and Bekah Basinger (14.9 ppg, Kokomo).  The Pilots, who finished 23-12 last season, open against Calvin College at home tonight.

IUSE returns four of the Grenadier’s top five scorers from last season, including Bloomington South grad Megan Murphy.  The 5’11 junior forward averaged 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals last season on the way to a 23-9 record (12-1 KIAC). IUSE opens season play against University of the Cumberlands at home this evening.

Also receiving votes in the poll were Taylor and Marian.

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