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Montana State women's basketball picked 2nd, Montana 5th in preseason conference poll

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Posted at 11:05 AM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 13:05:59-04

The Montana State women's basketball team was picked to finish second in both the preseason Big Sky Conference coaches poll and the media poll, the conference announced on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Montana was picked to finish fifth in the coaches poll and seventh in the media poll.

Idaho State is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as conference champion. ISU won the league last season with a 15-2 record and easily won the tournament title in Boise. The Bengals picked up 10 of 11 first-place votes in the coaches poll and 17 of 22 in the media poll.

The Bobcat women received one vote for first place in both polls. MSU finished third in the league last season with a 17-7, 13-3 record. The Cats bring back junior guard Darian White, who was a first-team all-Big Sky selection and the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year as a sophomore.

Montana finished sixth in the conference last season with a 12-11, 9-8 record under interim head coach Mike Petrino. The Lady Griz begin the 2021-2022 season under first-year head coach Brian Holsinger, who will have three starters return in Carmen Gfeller, Abby Anderson and Sophia Stiles.

Montana State opens its regular season at home on Nov. 9 against Carroll College. Montana will also start on Nov. 9, hosting Northwest Nazarene (ID).

The full preseason rankings can be found below.

Big Sky Conference Coaches Poll

1. Idaho State (10) … 100

2. Montana State (1) … 85

3. Idaho … 82

4. Northern Arizona … 72

5. Montana … 59

6. Southern Utah… 53

7. Northern Colorado … 45

8. Sacramento State … 43

9. Portland State … 29

10. Weber State … 21

11. Eastern Washington … 16

Big Sky Conference Media Poll

1. Idaho State (17) … 235

2. Montana State (1) … 203

3. Idaho (3) … 202

4. Southern Utah …183

5. Northern Arizona (1) … 171

6. Northern Colorado … 141

7. Montana … 140

8. Portland State … 79

9. Sacramento State … 70

10. Eastern Washington … 58

11. Weber State … 33