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Little East Conference preseason basketball polls released

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference pre-season basketball coaches' polls were announced Thursday and Plymouth State University finished sixth out of eight schools in both the men's and women's races. The votes were cast by the conference's head basketball coaches, and the polls were released by LEC Commissioner William M. Moore.

The Panther men's basketball team, which finished fourth in the LEC regular season a year ago, tied Southern Maine for the sixth spot in this year's poll. Rhode Island College, which finished third last winter, received four of the eight first-place votes this year to top the poll, while defending tournament champion UMass Boston got three first-place votes and finished runner-up. Keene State received the other top vote and finished third in the poll, with UMass Dartmouth rounding out the top four. The lower half of the poll includes Eastern Connecticut in fifth, followed by Plymouth State and Southern Maine in sixth and Western Connecticut in eighth. WestConn won the LEC just two years ago, while UMass Boston was picked to finish seventh in last year's poll before winning the LEC Championship.

The Panther women's basketball team, which placed fifth in last year's LEC standings, was picked sixth in this year's preseason poll. Perennial champion Southern Maine received seven of the eight first-place votes to run away with the voting. Eastern Connecticut got the other top vote and finished second, just ahead of Keene State, with Western Connecticut rounding out the top half of the poll. The bottom half included Rhode Island College, PSU, UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth.

The LEC basketball tournaments are scheduled for the last week in February, with the conference champions receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The complete Little East Conference basketball preseason poll results are listed below:

2006-07 LEC Men's Hoop Pre-Season Poll
1. Rhode Island College (4)      45
2. UMass Boston (3)                 44
3. Keene State (1)                    38
4. UMass Dartmouth                 33
5. Eastern Connecticut             21
6. Plymouth State                     15
6. Southern Maine                    15
8. Western Connecticut            14

(first-place votes in parentheses)

2006-07 LEC Women's Hoop Pre-Season Poll
1. Southern Maine (7)               49
2. Eastern Connecticut (1)        40
3. Keene State                          39
4. Western Connecticut             32
5. Rhode Island College            22
6. Plymouth State                     21
7. UMass Boston                       11
8. UMass Dartmouth                 10

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