RICHMOND, Va. - The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team was picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 race this season, according to a poll of the conference's head coaches released today by at the league's annual Media Day at the Richmond Marriott. Additionally, senior guard/forward Chelsea Woods was selected to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference First Team, while senior forward Adashia Franklyn was named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Second Team and All-Defensive Team.
Returning four starters and 11 letterwinners overall from last year's squad that finished third in the A-10 and earned the program's 10 Postseason WNIT bid, the Hawks garnered 170 points, including three first place votes, in the A-10 Preseason Poll.
Receiving eight first place votes, reigning A-10 champion Dayton was picked to finish first in the conference standings with 182 points. Garnering three first place votes, and 174 points overall, Saint Louis was selected to finish second, followed by the Hawks third, Duquesne (160) fourth, Fordham (150) fifth, George Washington (116) sixth and La Salle seventh (114). George Mason was picked to finish eighth with 79 points, followed by Richmond (78), Massachusetts (73), VCU (56), St. Bonaventure (50), Rhode Island (46) and Davidson (22).
One of the more versatile players in the A-10, Woods led the Hawks in scoring (14.0 ppg) and steals (38), and ranked second on the team in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and fourth in assists (69) a season ago. Named 2017 A-10 Sixth Woman of the Year and selected to the A-10 All-Conference Second Team, she was an intricate part in helping SJU finish third in the conference standings and earn a 2017 Postseason WNIT berth as she led all reserves and ranked 10th in the conference in scoring and tied for 13th in rebounding. Woods will enter her senior season 16th all-time in career rebounds with 557.
Posting one of the biggest breakout seasons in the conference, Franklyn set new career-highs for every major category in 2016-17. An Atlantic 10 All-Conference Third Team selection, she led the Hawks in rebounding (7.9 rpg) and blocked shots (40) and ranked second in scoring (12.3 ppg) as she surpassed her previous highs of 4.3 rebounds per game, 32 blocked shots and 4.3 points per game. Ranking fourth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.480), ninth in rebounding and blocked shots, Franklyn also set new career marks for assists (26) and steals (18). Additionally, Franklyn also etched her name into the Hawks' record book four times last season as she is currently tied for fifth all-time in blocked shots (95) and ranks 22nd in rebounds (490), while her 254 rebounds this year are the 16th most in a single-season. And on December 31, Franklyn set a new Saint Joseph's and Big 5 single-game record for rebounds, grabbing 25 versus the Spiders.
Saint Joseph's opens the 2017-18 season at Niagara on November 12.
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