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Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball See Hardy Named First Team All-Conference
Madeline Hardy makes first team preseason all-conference and returns after an injury limited her to only 19 games last season
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball See Hardy Named First Team All-Conference

The South Atlantic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released by the league office this morning and the Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team was picked to finish 10th in the league. Additionally, junior Madeline Hardy was selected as a First Team Preseason All-Conference player.

The Bears enter the 2020-21 campaign under new leadership as first-year Head Coach Grahm Smith was hired in April. Smith inherits a program that went 11-18 in 2019-20 and the 9-13 mark in conference placed them in a seventh place tie. However, the Bears return Hardy who played in 19 games last year before an injury cut her season short. The forward averaged 14.6 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per contest while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Hardy finished with eight double-doubles in her 19 games played and she had 15 games with at least 10 points.

In total, the Bears return four of their top five scorers from a year ago including 3-point threat Kennedy Weigt and point guard Hanna McClung. Ashley Woodroffe is back looking to build off an impressive rookie season that saw her average 8.1 points per game and a team-high 33 steals, while fellow sophomore Laney Fox had many standout games in her first season, most notably a 24-point performance against USC Aiken. Kiara Moore averaged 4.4 rebounds per game a season ago and was second on the squad with 22 blocked shots. Seniors Olivia Nunn and Addisen DeLucas bring three years of experience in the conference and the combination of Tatum McBride and Alyssa Wagner are primed for breakout junior seasons. Nakia Hooks and Michaela Dixon provided solid minutes off the bench and will look to expand their roles as sophomores.

The new staff brought in eight new players to round out the roster. The season opens on November 21 when the Bears host Queens at 2 p.m.

2020-21 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Rank School (First-Place Votes) Points
1 Carson-Newman (7) 149
2 Anderson (4) 141
3 Catawba (2) 134
4 Wingate 116
5 Newberry 100
6 Lincoln Memorial 94
7 Tusculum 93
8 Limestone 87
9 UVA Wise 77
10 Lenoir-Rhyne 67
11 Coker 45
12 Queens 41
13 Mars Hill 26

2020-21 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference
First Team
Teliyah Jeter, Wingate
Madeline Hardy, Lenoir-Rhyne
Keli Romas, Newberry
Braelyn Wykle, Carson-Newman
Caitlyn Ross, UVA Wise
Taisha DeShazo, Catawba

Second Team
Taylor Hair, Anderson
De’Ja Marshall, Mars Hill
Kristian Eanes, Queens
Addison Byrd, Carson-Newman
Lyrik Thorne, Catawba
Nia Vanzant, UVA Wise