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Senior Leadership Will Be Key to Lady Tiger Success
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Senior Leadership Will Be Key to Lady Tiger Success

NASHVILLE --- For three Tennessee State women’s basketball players the 2016-17 season will be the culmination of a four-year journey that has been filled with memorable experiences as well as team and individual accomplishments.

Although, they are not the lone seniors on the team, Diamond Beatty, I’mani Davis and Jayda Johnson are only Lady Tigers entering their fourth year with the TSU women’s basketball program.

During their career, these seniors have won a total of 42 games but their most notable accomplishment to date is winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship in 2015. The seniors were only sophomores during the record setting season that saw Tennessee State earn a championship for the first time in 20 years.

The following season, however, the Lady Tigers finished with an overall record of 12-18 while going 7-9 in conference games. The seniors are looking to improve upon that mark in their final season and finish strong.

Jayda Johnson led TSU in scoring last year with 15.7 points and was named to the All-OVC First Team as a junior. She was second on the team in rebounding and finished with 470 total points. Johnson ranked 2nd in the OVC offensive rebounding, 6th in scoring and 8th in overall rebounding.

A second-team All-OVC selection, I’mani Davis was the team’s second leading scorer with 12.3 points per game while pulling down a team-best 7.7 rebounds per outing. She was ranked in the top 20 in the OVC in seven categories: defensive rebounds (2nd), overall rebounding (4th), steals (7th), blocked shots (8th), minutes played (10th), three-point field goal percentage (14th) and scoring (18th).

A native of Tinley Park, Ill., Diamond Beatty played in all 30 games last season. She averaged 5.5 points in 18.6 minutes per outing. She shot a team-high 90.5 percent from the free-throw line and dished out 39 assists.

Beatty, Davis and Johnson will also be joined by seniors Maxine Beard, Tariana Carter and Olivia Jones.

Beard walked on to the team as a freshman and after sitting out the next season, returned to the team during her junior year. She saw a significant increase in playing time towards the second half of the season and showed improvement with each outing.

Tariana Carter also walked on to the team after transferring from Chattanooga State Community College and will add depth and leadership to the shooting guard position.

While each of these players are expected to make a positive impact on the team, arguably the biggest addition to the Lady Tiger roster is transfer Olivia Jones.

Jones was selected as the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year after leading her team in scoring with 19.8 points per game the previous season. She ranked in the top five in three categories including rebounding, minutes played and steals as a sophomore and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark as a junior.

Per NCAA transfer rules, Jones will be eligible to complete for TSU after the Fall semester.

Tennessee State will officially open the season on November 12 at Xavier.






Jayda Johnson



All-OVC First Team; Led TSU in scoring with 15.7 ppg

I’mani Davis



All-OVC Second Team; Led TSU in rebounding, 2nd in scoring

Diamond Beatty



Led TSU in free-throw shooting percentage with .905

Maxine Beard



Started 11 out of 22 games last season at point guard

Olivia Jones



Eligible to play second semester; Conference USA Preseason POY

Tariana Carter



Averaged 10.5 ppg and 5.6 rpg as a sophomore at Chattanooga CC