GORHAM, Maine - The University of Southern Maine received five first place votes and 59 total points to earn top honors in the annual Little East Conference poll of the league's eight women's basketball head coaches.
The Huskies earned a share of the 2001-02 regular-season title, before capturing their sixth consecutive LEC tournament crown and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Southern Maine finished narrowly ahead of second-place Plymouth State College, which collected the remaining three first-place votes and 54 total points. Eastern Connecticut, which tied Southern Maine in the final regular-season standing, before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, finished third in the poll with 52 points.
Keene State College collected 38 points to finish fourth ahead of the University of Massachusetts Boston, which finished fifth with 33 points.
Rounding out the poll were Western Connecticut State University, in sixth place with 25 points, while the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth finished seventh with 14 points, and Rhode Island College was eighth with 12 points.
All eight league teams will participate in the 2003 Little East Conference Tournament, which marks a change from 2002 event, when only the top six teams advanced. Four quarterfinal round games will be held on Tuesday, February 25, at the campus sites of the higher seeded teams. The highest-remaining seed will host the semifinals and championship game scheduled for Friday, February 28 and Saturday March 1.
The Little East Conference Tournament champion will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Little East Conference Women's Basketball - Pre-Season Coaches' Poll Team (First Place Votes) Pts 1. Southern Maine (5) 59 2. Plymouth State (3) 54 3. Eastern Connecticut 52 4. Keene State 38 5. UMass Boston 33 6. Western Connecticut 25 7. UMass Dartmouth 14 8. Rhode Island College 12
(Courtesy of the Little East Conference)