COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team was selected to place seventh among eight teams in the Northeast Division in the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason poll, which was released by the league office on Friday and chosen by the member institutions' head coaches.
The Purple Knights netted 35 points, while Bentley University, which won last year's NE10 Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, garnered 112 points to top the Northeast Division. The NE10 begins its sixth season with its 15 teams split between two divisions, with eight competing in the Northeast Division and seven in the Southwest Division. All teams will play either 20 or 21 conference games, depending upon division, and the top five squads from each division will qualify for the 10-team NE10 Championship.
The Purple Knights went 8-18 overall and 5-16 in the NE10 last season, and lost 11 games by 12 points or less. One of its setbacks was at the buzzer against eventual NCAA Tournament qualifier Southern Connecticut State University. Four of the Purple and Gold's top five scorers return, while four first-years join the roster.
Senior Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) led the team in scoring (12.7), rebounding (7.9), shooting (43.3%) and free throw success (81.8%) while blocking 22 shots, and classmate Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) turned in 10.1 points, 4.9 boards, 82 assists, 63 steals and 16 blocks. Ferreri was a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America selection. Junior Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) added 8.6 points on 42.7 percent shooting with 99 assists and 49 steals, while sophomore Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep) notched 5.6 points and canned 27 three-pointers. Junior Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) rejected a team-high 24 shots.
Under sixth-year head coach Shannon Kynoch, the Purple Knights head to the season-opening Saint Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) College Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 9-10, when they face Mercy College (N.Y.) and the hosts. Saint Michael's first visits the University of Vermont for an exhibition game on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.