For Immediate Release: November 9, 2004
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Laws is a unanimous pick on America East Preseason All-Conference Team
Bearcats picked fifth out of 10 teams in coaches' poll

Preseason All-Conference Team
Preseason Coaches' Poll

VESTAL, N.Y. - Junior guard Rachel Laws (Wyncote, Pa.) was one of two players unanimously selected to the 2004 America East Conference Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference squad and the Bearcats were picked to finish fifth in the 2004 Preseason Coaches' Poll. It marks the first time in its four years in the America East Conference that Binghamton has had a player on the preseason all-conference squad.

Laws and Danielle Hutcheson of Albany were the unaninimous picks on the all-conference squad. They were joined by Maralene Zwarich of Northeastern, Erica Messam of Hartford and Adrienne Norris of Boston. Last season, Laws averaged 14.7 point per game, which ranked fifth in the conference, and 7.1 rebounds per game, which was seventh in the conference. She reached double figures in scoring in the final 22 games of the season and was named first-team all-conference at the conclusion of the season.

"I am very happy for Rachel," head coach Rich Conover said. "She has worked very hard and even though its great for her to get this honor, I know her main focus is on winning games. She was our go-to player last season but this year we have more depth so that she won't be keyed on as much as this year."

Defending champion Maine was the preseason pick for the third year in a row. The Black Bears got 72 total votes, including five first-place votes, to edge out Boston, which received 71 votes and three first-place votes. Hartford was third (64), followed by Northeastern (54) and Binghamton (50). Albany, Vermont, New Hampshire, Stony Brook and UMBC rounded out places 6-10.

"Fifth is about right for a preseason prediction," Conover said. "We are looking to build on our success from last season but we do have to replace two all-conference starters and we have a lot of new players who will get better with experience."

Binghamton was picked to finish eighth last season but finished the season 17-10, including a 12-6 mark in the America East Conference. The Bearcats finished second in the conference and Conover was named the America East Coach of the Year.

Tonight, the Bearcats open up their exhibition schedule against LeMoyne at 7 p.m. at the Events Center. The team opens up its regular season at North Texas on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. EST.


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