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November 14, 2007

Little East Conference preseason basketball polls released

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference pre-season basketball coaches' polls were announced Wednesday and Plymouth State University finished at or near the bottom 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 dropped under the .500 mark last season for the first time in 14 years, was picked eighth in this season's poll. Defending regular season and tournament champion Rhode Island College received five of the eight first-place votes to top this year's poll, and Keene State, which finished second in the conference last year and received an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, got two first-place votes and finished second. Western Connecticut and UMass Dartmouth, which tied for third last season, finished third and fourth, respectively, with UMD receiving the final first-place vote. The lower half of the poll includes Eastern Connecticut in fifth, followed by Southern Maine in sixth, UMass Boston seventh, and Plymouth State eighth.

The Panther women's basketball team, which placed seventh in last year's LEC standings, was picked in the same spot 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 UMass Boston, Rhode Island College, PSU, 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:

2007-08 LEC Men's Hoop Pre-Season Poll
1. Rhode Island College (5) 46
2. Keene State (2) 44
3. Western Connecticut 33
4. UMass Dartmouth (1) 31
5. Eastern Connecticut 28
6. Southern Maine 17
7. UMass Boston 15
8. Plymouth State 10

(first-place votes in parentheses)

2007-08 LEC Women's Hoop Pre-Season Poll
1. Southern Maine (7) 49
2. Eastern Connecticut (1) 40
3. Keene State 37
4. Western Connecticut 31
5. UMass Boston 23
6. Rhode Island College 22
7. Plymouth State 14
8. UMass Dartmouth 9

(first-place votes in parentheses)

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