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Lady Tiger Guards Improving Everyday
Friday, October 28, 2016
Lady Tiger Guards Improving Everyday


NASHVILLE --- For the Tennessee State University women's basketball team, guard play will set the tone on both ends of the floor this season

As the Lady Tigers continue to practice and prepare for the 2016-17 campaign, the guards are showing improvement every day.

Four-year seniors I’mani Davis and Diamond Beatty highlight the returning guards. 2015-16 letterwinners Maxine Beard and Asia Sims will join newcomers Tariana Carter, Ciara Pettis, Rekha Berry and Kaliya Griffin while redshirt sophomore Tia Wooten will also see action at the guard position this season.

Although there is considerable depth at the guard position, there is not a ton of experience on the unit. Outside of Davis and Beatty, the returning guards averaged less than 13 minutes per game last season.

“They’re doing a great job,” head coach Larry Inman said about the guards. “We lack experience but what we don’t have in experience we make up for it in heart and effort. It’s been really good. Our shooters have done an outstanding job since they’ve been here and we just hope they can give us some added offensive weapons as well as help us on the defensive end.”

A second-team All-OVC and Preseason 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. The Tulsa, Okla. native 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.

Maxine Beard (St. Louis, Mo.) stepped into the role of starting point guard for the final eight games of the season last year. She averaged 12.6 minutes and 2.4 points per game. She posted a career-high nine points after going 4-of-7 from the field versus Belmont.

Asia Sims (Paris, Ky.) played in all 30 games while averaging 10.3 minutes per contest as a freshman. She shot 81.3 percent from the free-throw line on the season and scored a season-high nine points at Belmont.

Tariana Carter (Nashville, Tenn.) came to Tennessee State after playing at Chattanooga State Junior College. She Averaged 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.4 steals, 5.4 blocks and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 56 percent from the field as a sophomore

Rekha Berry led her McGill Toolen Catholic HS team to back-to-back State Championship game appearances in 2015 and 2016. The Mobile, Ala. native finished her final season averaging 8.6 points, 3.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.

At Overton HS, freshman Ciara Pettis (Memphis, Tenn.) averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game as a senior. The 5-6 guard was selected to the TSSAA District 16 All-District team as well as the All-Regional Team.

A native of San Jose, Calif., Kaliya Griffin played her senior season at Inderkum HS and averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.7 steals per game. She made the All-State team, All-NorCal Team and First team All-League selection as a senior.

Tia Wooten (Memphis, Tenn.), who will split time as a guard and small forward, played in three games last season before she was sidelined by an injury.

“Each one of them will have to contribute immediately,” Inman continued. “That leadership part has to start with the guards... Getting us going, getting us moving on our fast breaks and other things. We’ve got a good guard core and they just have to continue to get better.”

The Lady Tigers officially open the season on Nov. 12 at Xavier.



Ht, Yr



I’mani Davis

6-0, Sr

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


Diamond Beatty

5-7, Sr

Led TSU in free-throw shooting percentage with .905


Maxine Beard

5-7, Sr

Started 11 out of 22 games last season at point guard


Tariana Carter

5-6, Sr

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


Tia Wooten


Averaged 10.7 minutes and 2.7 rebounds in three games before suffering season ending injury


Rekha Berry

5-3, Fr

Led HS to back-to-back State Championship game appearances in 2015 and 2016


Kaliya Griffin

5-6, Fr

Averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.7 steals per game senior year


Ciara Pettis

5-6, Fr

Averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game as a senior