BOSTON - Senior center Maren Matthias (Guilford, Conn.) of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team was selected to the 2003-04 America East Preseason All-Conference team as voted on by the conference's 10 head coaches, it was announced Thursday. In addition, the Wildcats were chosen fourth in the annual preseason coaches' poll.

Matthias, an America East First Team selection last season, returns for her senior season after leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding in each of the last two seasons. She averaged 17.5 ppg and 9.6 rpg last winter while posting a school-record 14 double-doubles en route to becoming just the third Wildcat to record 500 points and 250 rebounds in the same season. She is the second-leading returning scorer and rebounder in America East this season.

Matthias is joined on the preseason squad by Maine's Heather Ernest, Sherry Jordan of Stony Brook, Katie Terhune of Boston University and Vermont's Aaron Yantzi.

New Hampshire was selected fourth in the America East preseason poll after reaching the semifinals of the conference tournament last season for the second consecutive year and finishing in a fourth-place tie during the regular season. In addition to Matthias, the 'Cats also return junior Lindsay Adams (Theresa, N.Y.), the conference's leading three-point shooter a season ago. UNH is one of the youngest teams in the country and will have six freshmen on the roster this season.

Maine was the unanimous choice to repeat as regular-season champion, followed by 2003 tournament champion Boston University. Vermont was selected third, while Northeastern was picked one slot below the Wildcats in fifth. Hartford, Stony Brook, Binghamton, Albany and America East newcomer Maryland, Baltimore County rounded out the poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

New Hampshire opens the season Tuesday, November 25, when it hosts St. Bonaventure at Lundholm Gymnasium.

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