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Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Fifth in Preseason Coaches Poll

Oct. 10, 2006

San Bruno, CA - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team was picked to finish in fifth place in the preseason coaches poll, announced by the West Coast Conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Saint Mary's was selected for a fifth place finish with 28 points, and welcomes back four All-WCC honorable mention performers from a year ago, including guard Jontelle Smith (11.9 ppg), who ranked first among conference freshmen in scoring last season.

The Gaels also return redshirt juniors Monica Mertle and Serena Benavente, along with junior Maija Lahde, who each earned honorable mention honors in 2005-06.

Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount were picked to hold a share of first, while Gonzaga was picked third and Santa Clara was picked fourth, above the Gaels. San Diego, San Francisco and Portland round out the eight spots.

Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Pepperdine - 57 (4)Loyola Marymount - 57 (2)3. Gonzaga - 53 (2)4. Santa Clara - 335. Saint Mary's - 286. San Diego - 247. San Francisco - 238. Portland - 13(First place votes)

2006-07 WCC Women's BasketballTop Six Returning Players*

Dominique Carter - San Francisco (13.9ppg, 5.2rpg)Jasmane Clarendon - Pepperdine (11.5ppg, 6.9rpg)Ashlee Dunlap - LMU (11.0ppg, 10.2rpg)Stephanie Hawk - Gonzaga (12.9ppg, 7.1rpg)Daphanie Kennedy - Pepperdine (12.6ppg, 5.0rpg)Rachel Warren - Portland (12.4ppg, 7.5rpg)(*As selected by conference coaches)