skip to Main Content
Blaikley Crooks (L) and Emily Harman (R)
Blaikley Crooks (L) and Emily Harman (R) earned preseason All-South Atlantic Conference honors.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Picked Fifth, Two Named Preseason All-Conference

Blaikley Crooks, a Freedom High School grad, and Emily Harman were named to the SAC First-Team Preseason All-Conference as the South Atlantic Conference released its Preseason Coaches Poll and All-Conference Teams for the upcoming 2023-24 season. The Lenoir-Rhyne women’s basketball team were picked to finished in 5th place this season as LR garnered 105 votes.

Catawba gained 10 of the 13 first place votes to land as the favorites this season with Carson-Newman picked up 2 first-place votes to finish behind the Indians. Wingate was selected third while Anderson was one vote ahead of the Bears in 4th place.

Crooks, a senior from Morganton, N.C., is coming off her best season in Hickory as Crooks was named to the First-Team All-SAC last year and was also named SAC All-Tournament Team after the Bears took home the SAC Tournament title last season. Crooks averaged 14.9 points per game last season and will enter the season 232 points away from 1,000 in her career.

Harman, a senior from Chesapeake, Va, was named SAC Tournament MVP last season and was named to the All-SAC Second Team. Harman become the 24th player in program history to score 1,000 points last season and is currently 15th in career points.

In 2022-23, the Bears had their first 20-win season since the 2013-14 season which resulted in their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance as the Bears will look to build on last year success. LR will open the season in the PBC/SAC Crossover in Jefferson City, Tenn. on November 11th with a matchup against USC-Aiken.

2023-24 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Basketball PRESEASON All-Conference
First Team
Janiya Downs, Catawba
Blaikley Crooks, Lenoir-Rhyne
Emily Harman, Lenoir-Rhyne
Lindsey Taylor, Carson-Newman
Lyrik Thorne, Catawba Braelyn Wykle, Carson-Newman

Second Team
Hannah Clark, Wingate
Emily Hege, Wingate
Diamond McDowell, Anderson
Sara McIntosh, Catawba
Alexa Smiddy, Lincoln Memorial
Caitlyn Ross, Virginia-Wise

Third Team
Lauren Flowers, Lincoln Memorial
Kalisha Hill, Limestone
Kristynn Knight, Coker
Campbell Penland, Carson-Newman
Brittney Stafford, Anderson
Breanna Yarber, Emory & Henry

2023-23 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Rank School (First Place Votes) Points
1 Catawba (10) 141
2 Carson-Newman (2) 124
3 Wingate 122
4 Anderson 106
5 Lenoir-Rhyne 105
6 Lincoln Memorial (1) 92
7 Limestone 71
8 Tusculum 63
9 UVA-Wise 57
10 Coker 44
11 Newberry 37
12 Mars Hill 29
13 Emory & Henry 23