HOUSTON – The Sam Houston State Bearkats were picked to finish 13th in the Southland Conference in the league’s annual preseason poll released Wednesday in conjunction with the league’s annual Social Media Day.

Social Media Day can be followed on the Southland’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook accounts and will air on ESPN3 tonight at 6 p.m. The ESPN3 telecast will be archived.

The Kats received 32 total votes in the poll, while defending champion Lamar was a unanimous choice to repeat, earning 24 first-place votes. Stephen F. Austin was picked to finish second, while Central Arkansas was selected third and received the two remaining first-place votes.

Nicholls, who claimed the SLC Tournament title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history last year, was selected to finish fourth. They were followed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Abilene Christian, New Orleans and McNeese to round out the top eight.

The Kats are gearing up to kick off its first season under new head coach Ravon Justice on Nov. 6 at LSU with their first home game set for Nov. 8 against Jarvis Christian at Johnson Coliseum.

The preseason poll is voted upon by the head coach and sports information director from each Southland school. Each individual ranks the other 12 teams in their predicted order of regular season finish. Ranking one’s own school is not permitted.

2018-19 Southland Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Lamar (24)    288
2. Stephen F. Austin 248
3. Central Arkansas (2) 231
4. Nicholls 226
5. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 209
6. Abilene Christian 178
7. New Orleans 153
8. McNeese 128
9. Southeastern La. 102
10. Houston Baptist 86
11. Northwestern State 76
12. Incarnate Word 71
13. Sam Houston State 32