The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) women's basketball team was picked to finish first in the 2019-20 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Women's Basketball Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's member head coaches.
The Athenas hauled in 77 points in the preseason vote highlighted by six first place votes. CMS notched a 24-3 overall record during the 2018-19 season sparked by a 15-1 mark in league play en route to the first seed in the conference postseason tournament. The Athenas downed fourth-seeded Redlands, 72-49 in the semifinals before falling to second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer, 60-57 in the championship bout. CMS will begin their 2019-20 slate on November 16 when it hosts Puget Sound.
Receiving three first place votes and 73 total points in the preseason vote is defending SCIAC Tournament champion Pomona-Pitzer. The Sagehens (22-6, 14-2 SCIAC in 2018-19) clinched the second seed in last year's conference playoffs and posted a 75-62 win over third-seeded Chapman in the semifinals. Pomona-Pitzer then clinched the program's first SCIAC Tournament crown with a 60-57 win over CMS. The Sagehens then fell to Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the NCAA Division Championship First Round. Pomona-Pitzer will travel to Willamette on November 15 to begin their 2019-20 campaign.
With 62 points in the preseason vote ahead of the 2019-20 season, Chapman was slotted to finish third after placing there a year ago after logging an 11-5 record in SCIAC play. The Panthers, who fell to Pomona-Pitzer in the semifinals of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament, 75-62, will tip-off their new ledger versus St. Catherine on November 15.
Last year's fourth seed in the SCIAC Tournament, Redlands was picked to finish fourth again in 2019-20 after notching 53 points in the preseason vote. The Bulldogs (8-8 in SCIAC action) advanced to the conference tournament semifinals but fell to CMS, 72-49. Redlands begins the 2019-20 season when it hosts Southwestern (Texas) on November 8.
Whittier enters action in 2019-20 slotted fifth with 43 points, while La Verne is picked to finish sixth with 34 points. The Poets tabbed a 7-9 record in SCIAC play in 2018-19, while the Leopards stood at 6-10 against conference competition a year ago. Whittier will travel to UC Santa Cruz to begin the new campaign on November 10, while La Verne will host Park University Gilbert on November 8.
California Lutheran (6-10 in the SCIAC last season) finished seventh in 2018-19, and was voted to place seventh this year with 31 points in the poll vote. The Regals host Puget Sound on November 15 to begin their 2019-20 schedule.
Occidental received 20 points in the preseason poll and was picked to finish eighth, while Caltech rounds out the poll with 11 points. The Tigers host Pacific Lutheran on November 17, while the Beavers host St. Katherine on November 16 to start their respective seasons.
2019-20 SCIAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. CMS (6) - 77 points
2. Pomona-Pitzer (3) - 73 points
3. Chapman - 62 points
4. Redlands - 53 points
5. Whittier - 43 points
6. La Verne - 34 points
7. Cal Lutheran - 31 points
8. Occidental - 20 points
9. Caltech - 11 points