ST. LOUIS, Mo. — If the Missouri State Lady Bears needed any bulletin board material as the season tips off in less than three weeks, they got it on Tuesday.

The Lady Bears are picked to finish sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball preseason poll, released on Tuesday.

It’s the first time the Lady Bears are picked to finish outside of the top three since being picked sixth in 2014-15.

That team still finished in the top three of the conference and made it all the way to the conference tournament championship game.

The Lady Bears did continue its first place vote streak, though. It’s the eighth straight season they have picked up a first place vote in the preseason poll.

The Lady Bears, under first year head coach Beth Cunningham, return one starter (Sydney Wilson) while welcoming seven newcomers to the squad.

The full list is as follows:

  1. Belmont (32) – 508 points
  2. Illinois State (7) – 444 points
  3. Drake (6) – 438 points
  4. Murray State (2) – 397 points
  5. UNI – 393 points
  6. Missouri State (1) – 388 points
  7. Southern Illinois – 270 points
  8. Indiana State – 257 points
  9. Evansville – 207 points
  10. Valparaiso – 197 points
  11. Bradley – 133 points
  12. UIC – 112 points

The preseason all-conference team was also released on Tuesday:

  • Grace Berg, Drake
  • Abby Feit, Evansville
  • Megan Meyer, Drake
  • Destinee Wells, Belmont (preseason player of the year)
  • DeAnna Wilson, Illinois State
  • Katelyn Young, Murray State

The poll is a collaboration of MVC’s coaches, communications personnel and media.

The Lady Bears open the season at home against in-state rival Mizzou on November 7.