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MEN'S BASKETBALL PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH IN GSC
BIRMINGHAM – The University of North Alabama men's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Gulf South Conference preseason poll released on Thursday. The Lions received 26 points in the poll voted on by head coaches from around the league.
UNA returns seven lettermen and only one starter from last year's squad that finished fifth in the GSC regular-season standings. The Lions were 15-12 on the season and lost to West Florida in the opening round of the conference tournament. The 2012-13 UNA team will feature seven newcomers and must replace a pair of All-South Region selections lost to graduation.
Defending GSC champion and 2011-12 NCAA Division II Elite Eight representative Alabama-Huntsville was the overwhelmingly favorite to repeat as conference champions again this season. The Chargers received all seven first-place votes to finished with 49 points.
Christian Brothers collected four second-place votes and finished with 36 points for second place while West Georgia (30 points) and West Alabama (29 points) were the other teams ranked ahead of the Lions in the preseason standings. Delta State and Valdosta State each received 20 points to tie for sixth place while West Florida rounded out the poll with 14 points.
North Alabama will play road exhibition games against UAB on Nov. 3 and Long Beach State on Nov. 10 before opening the regular season at home on Nov. 12 against Fisk. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at Flowers Hall.
UNA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM PICKED FIFTH IN GSC
BIRMINGHAM – Head coaches from around the Gulf South Conference have selected the University of North Alabama women's basketball team to finish fifth in the league standings. In the preseason poll, the Lions received 26 points, trailing fourth-place Delta State by seven points and leading sixth-place West Georgia by nine points.
With one starter returning from last season's 15-13 team, UNA received one vote for third place, three votes for fourth and three for fifth. The Lions return eight total lettermen and have added five newcomers.
After going 11-3 in Gulf South Conference play and earning the second seed in the GSC Tournament a year ago, Alabama-Huntsville enters the preseason as the favorite to win the conference title in 2013. The Chargers claimed five first-place votes and two second-place votes for a total of 47 points.
Defending GSC tournament champion West Alabama finished with a total of 42 points, while Valdosta State (35 points) and Delta State (33 points) rounded out the top four teams.
Following North Alabama in the standings are West Georgia, Christian Brothers and West Florida respectively.
UNA will play road exhibition games against Tennessee State on Nov. 1 and LSU on Nov. 6 before opening the regular season in Huntsville on Nov. 10 against Tuskegee. The neutral-site tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at Spragins Hall on the UAH campus.