College women’s basketball: Catawba picked second behind Carson-Newman

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Catawba’s Shemya Stanback, a second team All-SAC preseason pick,  and Anderson’s McKenzie Gadson. Wingate’s Bryanna Troutman is a first team pick. Photo by Wayne Hinshaw, for the Salisbury Post.

South Atlantic Conference sports information

Carson-Newman has been picked as a favorite to win the 2021-22 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Basketball Conference Championship, as voted on by the League’s head coaches. The Eagles picked up 10 first-place votes and received 150 points from the panel.

The Eagles completed an unprecedented 2020-21 season after the SAC became one of the few Division II Conferences in the country who competed during the Covid-19 Pandemic. They finished their regular season with a 15-2 record and went 15-4 overall. The Eagles won the SAC regular season title however, fell out of the SAC tournament in the quarterfinals after a hard-fought battle against Lincoln Memorial. The Lady Eagles went on to earn hosting rights for the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional as the No. 3 seed. Under the direction of head coach Mike Mincey, Carson-Newman finished the season strong reaching season-high rankings throughout the entire season in both the D2SIDA rankings and WBCA polls.

Catawba is No. 2 in the poll with 136 points and one first-place vote after making it all the way to the regional semifinals last season, while UVA Wise came in at No. 3 with 122 points and one first-place vote as well.

Tusculum comes in at No. 4 with 120 points and one first-place vote, they finished second in the league for the 2020-21 season, with a record of 19-4 overall and 15-3 in conference play. They took home the SAC Championship Title for the second year in a row and advanced to the NCAA Southeast Regional for the third consecutive year.

Anderson took the No. 5 spot with 116 points after going 14-11 overall and 11-9 in conference play during the 2020-21 season. Lincoln Memorial ended last season with an 11-11 overall record and 7-10 in conference play, they took the No. 6 spot in this year’s poll with 106 points.

At No. 7 spot in the poll is the Wingate Bulldogs, who picked up 100 points from the head coaches. Limestone followed in the No. 8 position with 78 points.

Newberry earned the No. 9 position with 75 points, while Lenoir-Rhyne came in at No. 10 with 56 points. Coker landed at No. 11 in the preseason poll as they collected 47 points from the coaches.

Queens came in at No. 12 with 38 points, followed by Mars Hill who closed the poll at No. 13 with 26 points.

The South Atlantic Conference also announced its Preseason All-Conference Teams with Caitlyn Ross and Kalee Johnson of UVA Wise, Carson-Newman’s Lindsey Taylor and Braelyn Wykle, Mars Hill’s De’Ja Marshall and Wingate’s Bryanna Troutman were named to the first team. Earning second team honors were Catawba’s Shemya Stanback, Anderson’s Samantha Michel, Carson-Newman’s Addison Byrd, Tusculum’s Jalia Arnwine and Limestones Reagan McCray and Quin Byrd.


The 2021-22 women’s basketball season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 12.

2021-22 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Rank School (First-Place Votes) Points
1 Carson-Newman (10)


2 Catawba (1)


3 UVA Wise (1)


4 Tusculum (1)


5 Anderson


6 Lincoln Memorial


7 Wingate


8 Limestone


9 Newberry


10 Lenoir-Rhyne


11 Coker


12 Queens


13 Mars Hill


2021-22 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference

First Team

Braelyn Wykle, Carson-Newman

De’Ja Marshall, Mars Hill

Caitlyn Ross, UVA Wise

Kalee Johnson, UVA Wise

Bryanna Troutman, Wingate

Lindsey Taylor, Carson-Newman


Second Team

Addison Byrd, Carson-Newman

Quin Byrd, Limestone

Shemya Stanback, Catawba

Samantha Michel, Anderson

Reagan McCray, Limestone

Jalia Arnwine, Tusculum