The defending ASC West women's basketball champion Howard Payne Lady Jackets are picked to place second in the division in the preseason coaches and media poll, released earlier this week.

Mary Hardin-Baylor (18-9, 10-6) got the nod as the favorite in the ASC West with 62 points and six first-place votes, followed by Howard Payne (15-11, 12-4) with 58 points and four first-place votes.

The rest of the ASC West featured Concordia (16-10, 9-7) in third place with 52 points; Hardin-Simmons (8-16, 4-12) in fourth place with 32 points; McMurry (9-15, 5-11) in fifth place with 27 points; and Sul Ross (10-16, 7-9) in sixth place with 21 points.

Lady Jacket senior guards Presley McKethan and Jada Evans, along with junior guard Valarie Matlock, were named to the ASC Players to Watch List.

In the ASC East, reigning conference champion UT-Dallas (25-4, 15-1) is the favorite with 104 points and 10 first-place votes trailed by UT-Tyler (20-7, 11-5) with 98 points and five first-place votes, Louisiana College (10-16, 7-9) with 79 points and one first-place vote, LeTourneau (13-13, 10-6) with 58 points, Belhaven (14-11) with 50 points, East Texas Baptist (3-22, 1-15) with 40 points and Ozarks (10-15, 5-11) with 28 points.

The top four teams from each division will compete in the ASC championship tournament Feb. 22-24 at the site of the East champion.

HPU opens the season with a non-conference game against conference foe UT-Tyler on Nov. 17. The ASC opener falls Nov. 30 at UT-Dallas, while the home opener takes place Dec. 2 in a non-conference tilt with Southwestern.