Credit: Ohio Athletics

Ohio Picked to Finish First in MAC East by Coaches

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The Ohio women’s basketball team has been selected to finish in first place in the Mid-American Conference East division in this year’s Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll. After winning the MAC regular season title last season the expectations are high for coach Bob Boldon and the Bobcats. Nine of the 12 first place votes for the East were cast for the ‘Cats.

Last year, Ohio went 26- but missed the NCAA Tournament after falling to Buffalo in their first matchup of the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. Buffalo was Ohio’s kryptonite last year as the ‘Cats fell not only in the conference tournament but also twice to the Bulls in the regular season, which were Ohio’s only losses to any MAC team in the 2015-2016 season.

The Bulls were chosen to finish in second place in the MAC East, receiving three first place votes. The two teams play in the second conference game of the season on Jan. 4 in the Convocation Center in Athens. While every game of the year holds its own importance, the ‘Cats will be looking to avoid the same fate against the Bulls this year.

The rest of the MAC East prediction has Akron in third followed by Bowling Green, Miami and Kent State. The consensus from the coaches is that the fight for first will be between Ohio and Buffalo.

Senior guard Quiera Lampkins was also named to the Preseason All-MAC East Team. Last year, she average 14.8 points and five rebounds per game and was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and was a member of the All-MAC Second Team and MAC All-Defensive Team.

In the MAC West, Central Michigan received a unanimous 12 votes from the coaches. The full prediction in the wWest is Ball State and Toledo tied for second, Western Michigan fourth, followed by Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan.

After losing in the first round of the MAC Tournament Ohio received a berth to the WNIT and made it to the Round of 16. They defeated Marshall and Virginia Tech before losing to Temple to finish the year.

The Ohio Bobcats open up their season with an exhibition against Thomas More on Nov. 5 at 11:30 a.m. and then open the regular season on the road at High Point on Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.