NORFOLK, Va. – Hampton junior Malia Tate-DeFreitas was selected the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year, announced today. North Carolina A&T State was predicted to win the regular season title as voted on by the conference’s head women’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Tate-DeFreitas, who has amassed 1,277 career points during two seasons at Hampton, averaged 21.3 points (1st in MEAC), 3.0 steals (2nd in MEAC), shot 77-percent from the foul line (6th in MEAC) and 29-percent from behind the 3-point line (11th) last year. She also ranked 14th nationally in scoring and 15th in steals. Tate-DeFreitas scored 20+ points 21 times, including a season- and career-high 39 points against Howard. She also registered a season-high six steals three times.

North Carolina A&T State totaled 310 points and 10 first-place votes to earn the top spot. Last year, the Aggies finished third in the conference with a 12-4 mark and a 20-11 overall record. N.C. A&T State returns three starters from last year’s team with the addition of four newcomers. The Aggies open the season on November 14 at home against Florida Gulf Coast.

Hampton was picked to finish second with 307 points and 10 first-place votes. The Lady Pirates recorded a 19-13 overall record and a 14-2 mark in MEAC play. Hampton received a bid to the Women’s NIT last season and defeated Drexel, 45-42, in the opening round before concluding the season with a loss to West Virginia in the second round.

Maryland Eastern Shore (259) received three first-place votes and was predicted to finish third, while Savannah State (239), the 2015 MEAC Basketball Tournament champions, garnered one first-place vote and Norfolk State (225) rounded out the top five preseason predictions.

Bethune-Cookman was chosen to finish sixth, followed by Coppin State (7th), South Carolina State (8th), Morgan State (9th), Florida A&M (10th), Howard (11th), North Carolina Central (12th) and Delaware State (13th).

Joining Tate-DeFreitas on the Preseason All-MEAC First Team was Bethune-Cookman’s Kailyn Williams, Norfolk State’s Kayla Roberts, North Carolina A&T State’s Adriana Nazario and Savannah State’s Kenyatta Hendrix.

The 2015-16 MEAC women’s basketball season tips off on Friday, Nov. 13 with eight MEAC teams in action.

The 2016 MEAC Basketball Tournament is scheduled for March 7-12 at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.

2015-16 MEAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Predicted Order of Finish

As voted on by the Conference’s Head Women’s Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors

(First-Place Votes In Parenthesis)

Team Points
1. North Carolina A&T State (10) 310
2. Hampton (10) 307
3. Maryland Eastern Shore (3) 259
4. Savannah State (1) 239
5. Norfolk State 225
6. Bethune-Cookman 212
7. Coppin State (2) 180
8. South Carolina State 162
9. Morgan State 138
10. Florida A&M 119
11. Howard 89
12. North Carolina Central 69
13. Delaware State 57

2015-16 Women’s Basketball Preseason All-MEAC Teams
As voted on by the Conference’s Head Men’s Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors

Preseason Player of the Year: Malia Tate-DeFreitas, Hampton

First Team

Name Pos. Cl. School Hometown
Malia Tate-DeFreitas G Jr. Hampton Harrisburg, Pa.
Kenyata Hendrix G Jr. Savannah State Carrollton, Ga.
Adriana Nazario G/F Gr. North Carolina A&T State Charleston, W.Va.
Kayla Roberts F So. Norfolk State Miami Gardens, Fla.
Kailyn Williams C Jr. Bethune-Cookman New Orleans, La.

Second Team

Name Pos. Cl. School Hometown
Kendra Cooper G Jr. Bethune-Cookman Spring, Texas
Braennan Farrar G So. Morgan State St. Louis, Mo.
Jordan Swails G/F Sr. Coppin State Upper Marlboro, Md.
Alexis Udoji F Sr. Maryland Eastern Shore Randolph, Mass.
Aprill McRae C Sr. North Carolina A&T State Raleigh, N.C.

Third Team

Name Pos. Cl. School Hometown
Ryan Jordan G Sr. Hampton Manassas, Va.
Christina Carter G r-Sr. North Carolina A&T State Thomasville, N.C.
Toni Greer G/F Sr. South Carolina State Powder Springs, Ga.
Amber Bogard F r-Sr. Delaware State         Cleveland, Ohio
Victoria Gonzales C Sr. Howard Atlanta, Ga.

Courtesy: MEAC


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