GAC Coaches Pick Golden Suns Second

Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Arkansas Tech University and Harding University — the three programs that have dominated Great American Conference women’s basketball since the league was formed in 2011 — are viewed by league head coaches as the front runners again in 2018-19.

SWOSU was named the unanimous favorite to win the 2018-19 GAC women’s basketball title in a preseason poll of conference coaches. The Lady Bulldogs earned 121 points in the voting.

Arkansas Tech (2nd, 108 points) and Harding (3rd, 102 points) were next in the poll. SWOSU, ATU and HU have combined to win every regular season and postseason women’s basketball championship that the GAC has awarded during its first seven years of competition.

Southwestern Oklahoma State was the regular season champion in 2017-18, while ATU claimed the 2018 GAC Tournament title.

Henderson State University (4th, 87 points) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University (5th, 81 points) form a second tier in the preseason poll.

Oklahoma Baptist University (6th, 65 points), Ouachita Baptist University (7th, 55 points) and Southern Nazarene University (8th, 51 points) are the other picks to earn a berth in the GAC Tournament March 7-10 in Bartlesville, Okla.

East Central University (9th, 49 points) and Northwestern Oklahoma State University (10th, 41 points) are viewed as contenders in the race for Bartlesville.

Southern Arkansas University (11th, 17 points) and the University of Arkansas-Monticello (12th, 15 points) completed the poll.

Head coach Dave Wilbers and the ATU Golden Suns were 26-4 overall and 19-3 in GAC play last season. Top returnees for 2018-19 include senior forward Lyrik Williams (12.9 points, 8.1 rebounds per game in 2017-18) and sophomore guards Jayana Sanders (12.3 points per game in 2017-18) and Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse (11 points per game in 2017-18).

ATU will face Minnesota State University-Moorhead in its season opener on Friday, Nov. 9, in Kansas City, Mo. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Access the Golden Suns’ 2018-19 schedule.

Access the Golden Suns’ 2018-19 roster.