Nashville, Tenn. --- In a poll voted on by the head coaches and sports information directors, the Tennessee State University women’s basketball team was selected to finish fifth in the East Division for the 2013-14 Ohio Valley Conference campaign.
“I’ve been doing this for a number of years as a coach and it’s not how you start the race its how you finish it,” commented head coach Larry Inman. “We have a lot of work to do as a team but we’re going to be doing everything we can to finish in the top echelon of the East, with the hope of winning it all. But that’s what we do that every year, we try to compete for a championship. Last year I thought our kids really competed in the conference, we came up a little short but it was very encouraging to see our team battle. This team is very young with a lot of potential and I think we are going to make some noise in the conference.”
Tennessee State only returns four letterwinners from last season, including lone senior Alana Morris, redshirt junior Chelsea Hudson, junior Rachel Allen and sophomore Brianna Lawrence. In 2012-13, TSU finished 4th in the East Division with a conference record of 9-7.
Allen ranked first in the OVC in assist/turnover ratio (1.9) and led the team in assists per game (8th in OVC). Hudson is the top returning scorer and rebounder from last year. She put up an average of 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds.
“Being Picked fifth is motivation to a team that's believed to have nothing to lose,” said Hudson “My team & I are focused, motivated, & ready to work to show others what we can do. We are ready!”
The Lady Tigers posted an overall record of 13-15 on the season while ranking second in the OVC in steals (9.5 per game), turnover margin (+2.8) and offensive rebounds (14.5 per game). TSU also ranked third in blocked shots with 4.1 per outing.
In addition to the four returners, eight newcomers will join the team.
The Lady Tigers will host Tennessee Temple in an exhibition game on Nov. 1 before officially kicking off the season at Kansas State on Nov. 8.
EAST Order of Finish Points
1. Tennessee Tech (12 first-place votes) 119
2. Belmont (Nine first-place votes) 115
3. Eastern Kentucky (Three first-place votes) 95
4. Morehead State 66
5. Tennessee State 65
6. Jacksonville State 32
WEST Order of Finish Points
1. UT Martin (22 first-place votes) 132
2. SIUE (Two first-place votes) 103
3. Eastern Illinois 85
4. Murray State 68
5. Southeast Missouri 61
6. Austin Peay 42
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