NASHVILLE --- In a poll voted on by the Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball head coaches and sports information directors, Tennessee State was predicted to finish the 2015-16 regular season in fifth place.
SIU Edwardsville was selected as the favorite while UT Martin, Belmont and Jacksonville State rounded out the top four.
The 2014-15 season was a historic run for the Lady Tigers. TSU upset four-time defending champion UT Martin to claim the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship. With the victory, the Lady Tigers claimed the OVC crown and earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in 20 years.
After closing out the regular season on a seven-game winning streak and going undefeated in the OVC Tournament, TSU broke a program record by winning 10 consecutive games.
The OVC champions finished the season with an overall record of 18-13 (12-4 OVC), the program’s first winning record since 2008-09.
Tennessee State returns a total of six letterwinners from team that averaged 66.9 points per game a year ago. Senior Brianna Lawrence and junior I’mani Davis are the only two starters from last year’s team.
Lawrence who was named the MVP of the OVC Tournament averaged 8.9 points per game and knocked down 46 three-pointers last season. She poured in 22 points in the Championship game vs. UTM and buried the three-pointer that sealed the win for TSU. She also led the team in steals while ranking fourth in the OVC in take aways.
Davis averaged just under double-digits with 9.8 points per outing to go with 5.3 rpg. She scored in double-figures 15 times and recorded two double-doubles last season. She finished the season ranked 13th in the league in steals.
2015-16 OVC Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
- SIUE (10 first-place votes) 226
- UT Martin (10 first-place votes) 213
- Belmont (Three first-place votes) 202
- Jacksonville State 176
- Tennessee State (One first-place vote) 168
- Eastern Kentucky 122
- Morehead State 111
- Austin Peay 109
- Eastern Illinois 88
- Murray State 71
- Tennessee Tech 62
- Southeast Missouri 33
(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team. 11 points awarded for a fi rst-place vote, 10 for second, etc.)