Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) received 72 total points and is picked to finish first in the 2017-18 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Women's Basketball Preseason Poll in a vote conducted by the league's women's basketball coaches.
CMS and Chapman each received three first place votes in the poll, with the Athenas notching seven second place votes to help CMS to its 72 total points. The Panthers finished second in the voting with 66 points, while Redlands (60 points) garnered two first place votes and finished third, while Cal Lutheran added one first place vote and placed fourth in the voting with 59 points.
Occidental received 54 points and placed fifth, while Whittier came in sixth with 40 points. Pomona-Pitzer and La Verne each received 21 points, while Caltech added 12 points to round out the preseason vote.
A competitive 2016-17 SCIAC slate saw CMS and Chapman each finish with a 13-3 record in conference action, while Cal Lutheran (12-4) and Redlands (11-5) followed as the league's top four teams.
The Athenas clinched their fourth consecutive SCIAC Tournament title with a 65-54 victory and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship Second Round after knocking of Texas-Dallas, 79-63 in the opening round. CMS will look to senior Kailee Severt and sophomore Maya Love to build on their 2016-17 performances after the pair averaged 8.6 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game respectively during conference play.
Chapman returns junior guard Jaryn Fajardo who averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest during the SCIAC slate, while Cal Lutheran will look to replace Jessica Salottolo – the reigning SCIAC Athlete of the Year. Reyna Ta'amu returns to the Redlands lineup as a senior, after notching 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game against SCIAC foes in 2016-17.
The 2017-18 SCIAC women's basketball season begins Wednesday, November 15 when Redlands hosts La Sierra.
2017-18 SCIAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
# Denotes First Place Votes
1. CMS (3) – 72 points
2. Chapman (3) – 66 points
3. Redlands (2) – 60 points
4. Cal Lutheran (1) – 59 points
5. Occidental – 54 points
6. Whittier – 40 points
7. Pomona-Pitzer – 21 points
8. La Verne – 21 points
9. Caltech – 12 points