21 Little East Conference Championships

Southern Maine Women’s Basketball Picked to Finish Third In LEC Preseason Poll

Southern Maine Women’s Basketball Picked to Finish Third In LEC Preseason Poll


GORHAM, Maine  – Coming off of a third place finish during the 2017-2018 season, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' women's basketball team was picked to finish third in the 2018-2019 Little East Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll.  The Huskies finished third in the team voting with 50 points, receiving one first-place vote.  Last year's LEC regular season champions, UMass Dartmouth, finished first in the preseason voting with 60 points and five first place votes.  UMass Boston, the 2018 LEC Tournament Champions, were picked to finish second with 55 points and two first place votes.  

            After starting the season dropping its first six games, Southern Maine closed out the 2017-18 season winning 13 of its final 19 regular season games and with a 9-5 mark in conference action. The Huskies' earned the third seed in the conference tournament and hosted a quarterfinal game and defeated Keene State to advance to the LEC semifinals.  Southern Maine concluded its season with a 14-13 overall record, improving its win margin by nine games.  

            Southern Maine returns nearly its entire roster from a season ago, including 2018 Little East Conference Defensive Player of the Year senior guard Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) and sophomore guard Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) – the reigning Little East Conference, New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA), Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA) and D3hoops.com Northeast Region Rookie of the Year.  The Huskies also return junior guard Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.), a 2017 MWBCA All-Rookie Team selection, who missed last season due to injury. Southern Maine also returns veteran forwards senior Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy), and two-year starting forward Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt).  

            "We've had some very competitive practices during the preseason, and the team has been working hard to improve on both ends of the floor," said fourth-year head coach Samantha Allen, a 2018 WBCA Thirty Under 30 recipient. "As a team, we have a solid mix of veterans and newcomers who are eager to get on the court and work hard on each play."

            The first USM women's basketball player to earn LEC Defensive Player of the Year honors, Srolovitz has been a starting guard for the Huskies since her freshman season in 2015-16, earning all-rookie team honors from the conference.  The 5-7 Srolovitz averaged 8.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season.  

             Along with her numerous Rookie of the Year honors, Curley also earned D3hoops.com fourth team All-Region honors, first team All-LEC, LEC All-Defensive team, LEC All-Rookie team honors, and was an MWBCA second team all-state and all-rookie team pick.  Curley averaged a team-best 16.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game, while shooting 50.5 percent (168-for-333) from the field, and 39.7 percent (48-for-121) from three-point range over a 27-game season.  The Little East's sixth leading scorer, and top-scoring freshman, the 5-9 guard was fourth in field goals made, field goal percentage, three-point field goals made and third in three-point field goal percentage.  The Husky rookie was also third in blocked shots (30), and fourth in steals (56).  Against LEC opponents only, Curley improved her statistics to average 17.0 points per game, which was fourth in the conference, and led the conference in steals with 32. 

            One of two Husky seniors, Howrigan played in all 27 of the Huskies games last season, starting in 24.  The 5-11 forward established career-highs in scoring (16), rebounding (12), assists (3) and steals (3) in 2017-2018, and averaged a solid 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.  A tremendous leader, Howrigan is president of USM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and is a three-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and two-time All-LEC Academic Team member. 

            Missing last season due to injury, Luckhardt returns to the Huskies' backcourt after an outstanding rookie season in 2016-17. The 5-7 Luckhardt averaged 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game as a rookie and established career highs of 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.    

            Eells had an outstanding sophomore season averaging 8.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game, while recording six double-doubles during the season.  The 5-10 forward increased each of her numbers in LEC action to average 10.7 points, 8.5 rebounds,  and 2.7 assists per game against conference opponents.  A 2017 LEC All-Rookie team selection as a freshman, Eells established career-highs in points (18), rebounds (15), assists (7) and steals (4) as a sophomore.

            Southern Maine opens its season on November 9, hosting the USM Veterans Day Tip Off Tournament.  The Huskies will host Thomas College Terriers, UMaine Farmington Beavers and the Castleton Spartans in a classic format.  The Huskies' season-opening game is against UMF on Friday (7:00 p.m.).  



2018-2019 Little East Conference Preseason Conference Poll



First Place Votes

1   UMass Dartmouth



2   UMass Boston



3   Southern Maine



4   Eastern Connecticut



5   Western Connecticut



T6 Rhode Island College



T6  Keene State



8   Castleton



9   Plymouth State



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