INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference released the results of the 2020-21 Women’s Basketball Coaches’ poll on Wednesday and the Truman State University Bulldogs were one of three teams picked to win a division this season.
In response to adjustments needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GLVC regular season will feature three divisions and a 22-game schedule, where every team plays every divisional opponent twice – home and away – four random non-divisional opponents twice – home and away – and every other non-divisional opponent once. The top-eight teams with the most points derived from the familiar GLVC Point Rating System at the end of the regular season will earn a berth to the GLVC Basketball Championship Tournament March 4-7 on campus sites of the higher-seeded teams.
The Bulldogs, under second year head coach Theo Dean, picked up nine first-place votes and 65 total points to sit atop the Central Division comprised of Lindenwood, Maryville, Missouri-St. Louis and Quincy. The Lions grabbed four first-place votes and 56 total points while the Saints had two first-place nods and 46 total points. The Tritons and Hawks garnered 35 and 18 points respectively.
Defending league champion Drury grabbed the most respect by the coaches with 14 first-place votes and 70 total points in leading the charge in the West while Southern Indiana seized 10 first-place choices and 66 total points to be picked first in the East.
The Bulldogs embark on their 22-game slate starting next Friday (November 27) at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. They will then travel to Indianapolis on Sunday to complete the road swing. Truman State has all four central division teams in December with trips to Missouri-St. Louis (December 5), Lindenwood (December 12) and Maryville (December 18) before hosting Quincy on December 20.
Senior Katie Jaseckas led Truman in scoring last season at 14.6 points per game and earned first team all-GLVC honors. Jaseckas finished last season on a tear, averaging 25.6 points in her final three games and closed to within 37 points of 1,000 for her career. She enters the season number one in career field goal percentage at 55.3%, four rebounds from entering the top 10 at Truman and fourth in blocked shots with 101.
Sophomore Hannah Belanger was the GLVC Freshman of the Year last season after tying a Bulldog freshman record with 67 three-pointers made and shooting 42.7% from outside. She ranked 22nd in all of Division II from outside the arc and was third in the conference in both three-pointers made per game (2.39) and three-point shooting. Belanger averaged 12.7 points per game and had a single-game high of 29 against Illinois Springfield.
Tiffany Davenport and Maya Mouton are the two other returning seniors with Jaseckas. The junior class has Brioenne Burns, Maddie Re, Katey Klucking and Allison Thomas. Sophomores are Nicole Dorn, Ellie Weltha, Alex Wiese, Hannah Pinkston along with Belanger and newcomers include Kennedy Wallace, who redshirted last season, Gabby Nielsen, Carly Printy and Claire Rake.