Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State University women's basketball team was predicted to finish the 2011-12 Ohio Valley Conference campaign in seventh place in a vote of the league coaches and sports information directors.
Last season, Tennessee State finished with an overall record of 9-21 with a 5-13 conference mark. The Lady Tigers entered the Ohio Valley Conference tournament as the seventh seed and faced sixth-seeded Jacksonville State in the opening round, marking the program's 18th overall and fourth straight OVC tournament appearance. TSU eventually dropped a heartbreaking, 57-55, decision to the Gamecocks to end the season.
The team, under the direction of head coach Tracee Wells, has nine returning letterwinners, two redshirt freshmen and two newcomers for the 2011-12 campaign.
2011 Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer team selection Tayla Foster (Madisonville, Ky.) highlights the returners while Kim Haynes (Dallas, Texas) will be the lone senior on the squad. Foster led the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game and ranked seventh in the OVC in field goal percentage. She suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the season that caused her to miss three games but she still managed to post double-digits in scoring 16 times, including a season-high 33 points to go with 11 rebounds versus SIU Edwardsville.
Haynes was the third leading scorer on the team last season and was third in the OVC in three point field goal percentage. She scored in double figures nine times and tallied a team-best 79 assists.
Junior Destiney Gaston (Columbus, Ohio) is also among the returning players. She turned it up the last part of the season as she averaged 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over the last seven games. She also led the team while ranking second in the OVC in blocks with 1.3 bpg.
Other returners include juniors Kesi Hess, Simone Hopes, Avery Jones, Jasmin Shuler, and Denisha Mumford and sophomore Alana Morris. Tanesha Stenson and Chelsea Hudson will return to the court after sitting out due to injury last season.
Freshmen Rachel Allen and Donyeah Mayfield will be the only newcomers to join the squad.
On November 1, the Lady Tigers will face LeMoyne-Owen in an exhibition game before officially kicking off the season at Cleveland State on Nov. 11.