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Women's basketball enters 40th year voted No. 1 in Atlantic East Preseason Poll

Women's basketball enters 40th year voted No. 1 in Atlantic East Preseason Poll

LANCASTER, Pa. – The Marymount University women's basketball team enters the 2019-20 season as the reigning Atlantic East Conference champion and was voted No. 1 in the Atlantic East Coaches' Preseason Poll, the league announced on Tuesday.

The Saints earned 35 points and five first-place votes in the poll, following a season, in which, the team defeated Cabrini University, 77-68, in the first-ever Atlantic East championship game.

This season, Marymount celebrates a milestone year, entering its 40th year of competition. The Saints look to continue the tradition of excellence achieved throughout the entire history of the women's basketball program, currently holding an all-time record of 751-269.

The Saints are winners of 14 conference championships (13 Capital Athletic Conference and one Atlantic East), while advancing to the NCAA Division III tournament 20 times. The program's longest run in the national tournament resulted in a semifinals appearance in the 2001-02 season.

Entering the year, the Saints remain the Atlantic East favorites by returning a strong core from last season, including the Atlantic East Rookie of the Year, sophomore Katie McShea. McShea led the team with 16 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game, while tallying 10 double-doubles in 2018-19.

Senior Gabriella Haddad and junior Aidan Phillips, also, return to lead the team. Hadded was the team's third-leading scorer from a year ago, with 11.6 points per game and was second on the team with 6.1 rebounds per game.

Phillips returns leadership to the backcourt this year, finishing last season third on the team with 2.3 assists per game and 1.6 steals per game.

The Atlantic East poll was rounded out by No. 2 Cabrini (32 points, two first-place votes), Immaculata University and Marywood University in a tie for third, with 21 points, each, and No. 5 Gwynedd Mercy University (17 points).

Marymount starts its season on the road at Shenandoah University on Saturday, November 9. The team opens at home on Friday, November 15 against Haverford College in the first day of the Pablo Coto Tip-off Tournament.

The Saints begin Atlantic East play on Wednesday, January 8 at Wesley College. That game is set for 6 p.m.

To view the full Atlantic East release, click here.