Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics
EMPORIA, Kan. – For the fourth straight year the Emporia State Lady Hornets have been slated as preseason favorites to win the MIAA according to the 2016-17 Preseason MIAA Coaches Poll. The Lady Hornets have finished in the top three of the MIAA or have advanced to the MIAA Tournament Championship game in each of the last 14 years and 18 of the last 19 seasons.
The Lady Hornets are ranked #3 in the D2Bulletin Preseason Top 25 and return three starters from last year’s Sweet 16 team, led by All-American Kelly Moten. She is joined by 2016 MIAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kathryn Flott and 2015 MIAA Freshman of the Year Addie Lackey.
Moten averaged 16.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game last year for Emporia State. Flott checked in at 10.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest while Lackey averaged 10.3 points and 2.6 assists per game.
All three came on strong in the later portion of the season. Over the final seven games of last year, including six post season games, Moten averaged 18.0 points, Lackey averaged 12.9 points and Flott contributed 11.1 rebounds per game.
Those three are not alone as Emporia State returns a total of eight players that saw action in twenty games and averaged over 5.0 minutes per game last season. Kyrstie Miller and Megan Holloway played in all 34 games last season with a combined five starts between them. Jacee Kramer scored in double figures in four of her first eight games before being slowed by a knee injury that cost her three games.
The Lady Hornets are 30-3 against non-MIAA teams since December of 2012 with two losses in the regional final and one in the Final Four. They have won 23 straight regular season games against non-conference schools. Both could be threatened on December 3 when defending national champion Lubbock Christian visits White Auditorium. It will be the first time since 2006 that a defending national champion has come into White Auditorium.
The Lady Hornets will open the season on November 1 with an exhibition game at NCAA Division I Baylor and will begin the regular season on November 12 when they host the MIAA-GAC Challenge on Slaymaker Court in White Auditorium.
2016-17 MIAA Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
1. Emporia State (12)……… 168
2. Pittsburg State (2)……… 156
3. Washburn……… 132
4. Fort Hays State……… 127
5. Missouri Western……… 124
6. Central Oklahoma……… 96
7. Nebraska-Kearney……… 95
8. Central Missouri……… 89
9. Missouri Southern……… 83
10. Southwest Baptist……… 75
11. Northeastern State……… 43
12. Lindenwood……… 40
13. Northwest Missouri……… 31
14. Lincoln……… 15