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Rucker all-conference, UNI picked third in MVC preseason poll
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COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Rucker all-conference, UNI picked third in MVC preseason poll

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Northern Iowa's Karli Rucker splits Bradley's defense during a 2020 game inside the McLeod Center.

ST. LOUIS — Karli Rucker was selected as one of five preseason all-conference players and her University of Northern Iowa basketball team was picked third in a preseason poll released by the Missouri Valley Conference this morning.

Rucker enters this season on pace to finish among the school’s top 10 in career points and assists with totals of 1,030 and 287, respectively. She earned all-conference honors each of the past two seasons.

Missouri State is the preseason favorite while Bradley was picked second.

Missouri State returns four starters and 10 players from last year’s team that spent 13 weeks in the AP Top 25, won 26 overall games and secured the MVC regular season title. Bradley finished a school-record 22-7 and 13-5 in league play and also has four starters back.

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Missouri State’s duo of guard Brice Calip and forward Jasmine Franklin joined Bradley’s Gabi Haack and Lasha Petree on the preseason all-conference team.

Similar to Bradley and Missouri State, UNI’s outlook is bright. The Panthers return four starters and their top five overall scorers including Rucker, Kam Finley, Megan Maahs, Bre Gunnels and Nicole Kroeger. Head coach Tanya Warren has also brought in a six-person recruiting class with as much potential as any in her tenure.

UNI went 18-11 last season and 10-8 in the MVC. The league had five schools ranked among the top 75 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index and two in the top 25 when the season was canceled prior to the start of the MVC tournament.

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