Penn State Behrend is the favorite to repeat as Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference women's basketball champion, according to the AMCC preseason coaches’ poll.

The Behrend Lions downed Pitt-Greensburg in the championship game of the conference tournament last year; both squads earned bids to the NCAA Div. III tournament.  Frostburg State University was selected to finish second, with Pitt-Greensburg third.  FSU senior guard/forward Tracey Little (La Vale, MD/ Allegany) was the consensus pick as Preseason Player of the Year for the second straight season.  Little led the league in scoring (20.2 ppg) and rebounding (11.2 rpg) in 2003-04.

The AMCC welcomes three new members to the conference this season:  Hilbert College, Medaille College, and Mt. Aloysius College.  The conference will receive an automatic bid to the national tournament for the first time in 2004-05.

Preseason Rankings:
1. Penn State Behrend
2. Frostburg State
3. Pitt-Greensburg

Preseason Player of the Year:
Tracey Little, Frostburg State



                                    Other players to watch:

FROSTBURG STATE (6-6 AMCC, 16-12 overall)

Senior forward Tracey Little (La Vale, Md./Allegany) and junior forward Kelly True (Warfordsburg, Pa./Southern Fulton) are among four returning starters from last year's team that finished 16-12 and advanced to the ECAC Tournament. Little, a  two-time first-team All-AMCC selection, led the league in scoring (20.2), rebounding (11.2) and blocks (2.04) and earned D3Hoops.com and ECAC regional honors. True took home All-AMCC honorable mention accolades after averaging 10.1 points and 9.2 rebounds.

HILBERT (11-15 overall)
The Hawks begin their first full season in the AMCC led by Autumn Lee-Jeffries (Buffalo, NY/Holy Angels), a 6’1” junior forward who was ranked 10th in the nation in blocks with 3.27 per game last season.  Named second team All-NEAC in 2003-04, Lee-Jeffries also averaged 8.4 ppg and 6.9 rpg. She is joined by junior guard Cheri White (Tonawanda, NY/Tonawanda) who averaged 4.4 ppg and 3.6 rpg primarily off the bench for Hilbert last season. 

LA ROCHE (4-8 AMCC, 6-20 overall)
No information available

LAKE ERIE (3-9 AMCC, 3-20 overall)

Senior Bianca Wright (Cleveland, OH/Shaw) is one of only two returnees
from last season's squad. Wright averaged 5.1 points and 3.3 rebounds while appearing
in every game last year. 

MEDAILLE (13-12 overall)

Ready for their first season of competition in the AMCC, the Lady Mavericks are
returning their leading playmaker in Rachel Conti (Fredonia, NY/Fredonia) and
their best rebounder in Lauren Smith (Buffalo, NY/Kenmore East).  In 2003-04
Conti led the North Eastern Athletic Conference in assists averaging 4.4 apg.  The
senior guard also contributed with 32 steals while averaging 4.6 ppg.  As a freshman,
Smith led Medaille in rebounding with 7.8 rpg while also chipping in 7.0 ppg.

MOUNT ALOYSIUS (6-18 overall)
Senior point guard Michele Sauserman (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) is back once again to lead the Mounties’ offense.  The three-year starter led her team in assist for the third straight year last season, racking up 6.4 apg.  She also led the team in steals and FT%, shooting 86% from the line.  2003-04 leading scorer Missy Wertz (Bellwood, PA/Bellwood-Antis) will return for her final season in a Mounties’ uniform.  She averaged 15.5 ppg last year, and was also the team’s leading rebounder with 7.1 rpg.  Wertz has been a two-year starter for the Mounties.

PENN STATE ALTOONA (3-9 AMCC, 4-19 overall)
The Penn State Altoona women’s basketball team returns all five starters from last year’s team and the expectation is that experience, along with a strong freshman class, will help the Lady Lions return to the AMCC playoffs.  Players to watch include seniors Lindsey Barr (Altoona, PA/Altoona) and Tara Stock (Martinsburg, PA/Central), along with juniors Lindsey Haulman (Altoona, PA/Altoona) and Erin Shields (Hollidaysburg, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle). Barr (12.5 ppg) and Stock (12.7 ppg)  provided a one-two scoring punch for the Lady Lions, with Stock also contributing a team-high 7.3 rpg.

PENN STATE BEHREND (11-1 AMCC, 22-6 overall)
The Behrend Lions won their fifth conference title in 2003-04 and also earned their third NCAA postseason berth.  The team will be looking for leadership from seniors Bambi Lewis (Butler/Butler) and Amber Krumpe (Erie/Mercyhurst Prep).  Lewis will play at the guard position and has the ability to knock down long distance shots while working hard on the defensive side of the court.  Krumpe missed more than 10 games last season while recuperating from an ACL tear but still managed to be one of the top rebounders and scorers for the team averaging 8.5 ppg and pulling down 5.1 rpg. Last season’s AMCC Newcomer of the Year, sophomore Tenesha Aden (Lakeview, PA/Sandy Lake), led the team in her freshman year with 11.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg while finishing second in the AMCC with a field-goal percentage of 52%.  Aden was also named to the AMCC all-conference team last season along with returning sophomore Brittany Mays (Keystone, PA/Knox).  Mays came in right behind Aden with 10.7 ppg and 5.4 rpg, and led the league in free-throw percentage at 84%. 

PITT-BRADFORD (5-7 AMCC, 11-16 overall)
After an 0-10 start to the 2003-04 season, the Lady Panthers won 11 of their last 17 to finish the campaign at 11-16.  The Lady Panthers return eight players from last year including a pair of all-conference honorable mention selections, senior guard  Calista Walker (Towanda PA/Towanda) and sophomore forward Samantha Groller (Bethlehem, PA/Liberty). Walker averaged 9.9 ppg and 1.8 apg while Groller contributed 9.5 ppg and a team-best 7.5 rpg.

PITT-GREENSBURG (10-2 AMCC, 22-7 overall)
The Bobcats earned their third consecutive AMCC finals appearance, their second consecutive NCAA tournament bid, and their second 20+ win season in a row in 2003-04, and hope to keep their winning ways alive this year.  Seven letterwinners and three starters return, including junior guard/forward Tish Hines (Clairton, PA/ Clairton), a second team all-conference selection.  Hines finished third in the conference in rebounds, steals, and free throw percentage.  She averaged 12.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.8 steals and a 79.7 FT%.  Senior forward Becky Joyce (Pittsburgh, PA/Carrick) will also provide experience as a third year starter who contributed 7.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and a 51.2 FG%.