Oct. 19, 2004
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According to the Horizon League pre-season poll of the League's head coaches, sports information directors and media, defending Horizon League Women's Basketball Tournament Champion UW-Green Bay is expected to bring home another Horizon League Championship trophy.
The Phoenix garnered 24 first place and two second place votes to finish with 258 points, 45 points above UW-Milwaukee (213), which was the next highest finisher.
The next closest competition balances between Butler and Detroit, as each team finished with 174 points to share third place. Falling just seven points behind is Loyola, who takes fifth place with 167 points. UIC (137) is the pick to finish sixth followed by Cleveland State (114), Wright State (96) and Youngstown State (68).
UW-Green Bay finished the 2003-04 season 23-8 overall and 13-3 in the Horizon League and is in search of its seventh consecutive regular season title. The future looks bright for UW-Green Bay as it returns all five starters from a squad that advanced to the first round of the NCAA tournament last season. The Phoenix also boasts Abby Scharlow who was named to the Street & Smith's Best of the Rest list in the 2004-05 College Basketball Preview.
UW-Milwaukee returns four starters and 12 letterwinners from a squad that finished second in the Horizon League regular season last year. Detroit, who faced UW-Green Bay in the 2004 Horizon League Championship game, features three returning starters. The Titans were ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense last year. Butler recorded a 14-15 overall record last season, marking the 14th-greatest win improvement in NCAA Division I after its 6-23 overall record the previous season.
Loyola looks to improve upon a 11-17 season as it returns four starters, including six of its top seven scorers. UIC returns all five starters and brings in four newcomers in search of its journey to the top. Last year, Cleveland State set a school-record with nine league victories under the guidance of first year coach Kate Peterson. The Vikings will look to improve upon that in the upcoming season.
Wright State returns a young team as the squad features only one senior and three juniors among 10 players. Four starters from 2003-04 will be back in action this season. Youngstown State enters the upcoming season with four starters and 10- returning letterwinners.
PRE-SEASON ALL-LEAGUE TEAM
UW-Green Bay's Abby Scharlow is the 2003-04 Horizon League Pre-Season Player of the Year. Scharlow earned 2004 All-Horizon League first-team honors and was named last season's Horizon League Tournament MVP. Last year, she averaged 16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.
Teammates Nicole Soulis and Tiffany Mor join Scharlow on the pre-season first team, along with UIC's Chrissy Dizon and Loyola's Meskhenet Lands.
Loyola's Ciara Henderson, UW-Milwaukee's Nichole Drummond, Butler's Cortney Urquhart, Wright State's Brittney Whiteside and Mary Kulenkamp of UW-Green Bay earned second team pre-season honors.