BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the first time during the Roy Heintz era, the University of Alabama in Huntsville women's basketball team has been selected to finish first in the Gulf South Conference as voted upon by the league's head coaches. Additionally, the league office announced its 2012-13 Preseason All-GSC Team on Thursday, and a pair of Lady Chargers earned the accolades.
A season after going 11-3 in conference play, reaching the GSC Tournament championship game, and earning its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, UAH captured five of the available seven first-place votes en route to collecting 47 points and earning No. 1 nod.
The first-place prediction marks the first time since the 1997-98 season that a Lady Charger team has been picked to win what was then the East Division.
Champions of the GSC Tournament last season, West Alabama captured 42 points to place second in the poll, and the Tigers were followed by Valdosta State in third with 35 points. Tallying 33 points in the voting process, Delta State was picked to finish fourth, and North Alabama rounded out the top five with 26 points. West Georgia (17 points), Christian Brothers (13 points) and West Florida (11 points) rounded out the rankings.
Newcomers to the league Shorter and Union will play a full conference schedule but are not eligible for postseason play and thus were not included in the poll.
Unanimously chosen, Jasmine Hammon returns to the Preseason All-GSC Team after finishing second in the GSC in scoring last season, and Jordan Smith also landed on the prestigious team after tying for the conference lead in assists and placing second 3-point field goals per game last year.
The GSC also highlighted the conference's top newcomers, and the Lady Chargers placed Halle Jarnagin and Kendra Jones on the list. Jarnagin hails from Brentwood, Tenn., and is a freshman, while Jones is a Lacey's Spring, Ala., native who transferred from Jacksonville State.
Midnight Madness for the Lady Chargers will be held Friday night, and the team will play three exhibition contests beginning at MTSU on Nov. 1 before opening the regular season slate by hosting the Comfort INN GSC/SIAC Challenge, battling Benedict at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10.