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Sooner Women Picked To Win Big 12, Cowgirls Third

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma was selected as the preseason favorite for the fourth time in Conference history to win the 2013-14 Big 12 women's basketball regular season title, in a vote of the league's head coaches.

The Sooners were also picked at the top of the preseason rankings in 2001-02, 2006-07 and 2008-09. They won or shared the Big 12 championship in each of those seasons and have claimed six Conference regular season trophies overall.

Led by Preseason All-Big 12 Team member and the conference's top returning scorer Aaryn Ellenberg, the Sooners return four starters from its Sweet 16 appearance last season and welcome back two (redshirt-freshman guard Maddie Manning and sophomore forward Kaylon Williams) from season-ending injuries.

OU tallied five first-place votes for a total of 74 points. Baylor, winner of the past three Big 12 regular and postseason titles, received three first-place nods and 70 points. West Virginia and Oklahoma State tied for third with 63 points. The Mountaineers were awarded the final two first-place votes. Texas was next at No. 5, followed by Iowa State, Kansas, TCU, Kansas State and Texas Tech.

OSU's third-place tie marked the highest it has been selected since the preseason poll began in 1997-98. The Cowgirls previous best came in 2007-08 when they were picked to finish fifth in the league.

The Cowgirls return four starters, including honorable mention All-American Tiffany Bias, from last year's squad that finished 22-11 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

2013-14 Preseason Big 12 Women's Basketball Coaches Poll

1. Oklahoma (5) 74

2. Baylor (3) 70

3. West Virginia (2) 63

Oklahoma State 63

5. Texas 49

6. Iowa State 47

7. Kansas 26

8. TCU 23

9. Kansas State 20

10. Texas Tech 15

(first place votes in parentheses; coaches not allowed to vote for their own team)

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