NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The University of Dayton women’s basketball team is picked to finish tied for first in the Atlantic 10 this season. The Flyers are the preseason favorites along with Temple – each garnering 189 points and seven first-place votes.
UD also had three players earn preseason A-10 accolades, tied with Duquesne for the most individuals on a team to be honored. Senior Justine Raterman is a preseason all-conference first team selection; senior Patrice Lalor is a third team pick and senior Casey Nance was voted to the all-defensive team.
The Flyers return seven seniors from a squad that went 21-12 overall and finished 9-5 (tied for third) in the conference last year. Dayton advanced to the A-10 title game for the first time in program history in 2010-11 and earned its second consecutive berth to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.
Duquesne was picked to finish third with 159 points, Charlotte in fourth with 141 and Saint Joseph’s rounds out the top five with 129 points. St. Bonaventure comes in at sixth with 125 points. Defending champion Xavier was predicted to finish seventh with 119 votes. Here is how the rest of the field was predicted to finish: Richmond (8th-112), George Washington (9th – 73), Massachusetts (10th – 70), La Salle (11th – 65), Fordham (12th – 42), Rhode Island (13th – 31) and Saint Louis (14th – 26).
Raterman, a 2010-11 Atlantic 10 First Team selection, has led UD in scoring all three seasons. She was named to the 2011-12 Preseason Top 30 list for the John R. Wooden Award. The two-time captain has been named to the A-10 All-Championship Team for three consecutive tournaments.
Lalor, UD’s point guard and co-captain, has led Dayton in assists all three seasons – her 371 career assists are seventh all-time at UD. Last season she was named to the Minnesota Subway Classic All-Tournament Team after scoring a team-high 25 points to lead Dayton to a victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. She is also a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar.
Nance, a 6-foot-5 center and a co-captain, repeats as a preseason Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team selection. She is second all-time on Dayton’s career blocks list and has led the Flyers in that category all three seasons. Nance was named to the 2008-09 A-10 All-Rookie Team. She is also a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar.
Dayton has an exhibition game Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. against Northern Kentucky at UD Arena. The Flyers start the 2011-12 campaign at home against Bowling Green on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at UD Arena.