Tech picked fourth in OVC; Hayes and Kellie Cook earn preseason honors

Tech picked fourth in OVC; Hayes and Kellie Cook earn preseason honors

Coach Sytia Messer's comments at Media Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Junior Tacarra Hayes and sophomore Kellie Cook earned preseason all-OVC honors and coach Sytia Messer's Golden Eagles were picked to finish in fourth place in the 2010-11 Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball race, in the annual league poll of coaches and sports information directors announced Monday at the annual Media Day in Nashville's Municipal Auditorium.

Eastern Illinois has been picked to win the title, claiming 151 points, including 10 first-place votes, while Morehead State is selected to finish second garnering seven first-place nods and 137 points. Austin Peay picked up 120 points and the final three first-place votes for a predicted third place finish followed by Tennessee Tech with 117 points to finish fourth. Rounding out the poll are UT Martin (97 points), Murray State (83 points), Eastern Kentucky (79 points), Tennessee State (45 points), Jacksonville State (31 points) and Southeast Missouri (30 points).

Headlining the 2010-11 Preseason All-OVC team is Morehead State's Chynna Bozeman who was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Joining Bozeman on the preseason team after earning all-conference accolades last year are Eastern Illinois sophomore guard Ta'Kenya Nixon (Michigan City, Ind.), Tennessee Tech junior guard Tacarra Hayes (Lebanon, Ky.) and Eastern Kentucky sophomore forward/center Alex Jones (Elizabethtown, Ky.).  Also earning preseason honors are UT Martin senior guard Alecia Weatherly (Lobelville, Tenn. ), Tennessee Tech sophomore guard Kellie Cook (Madison, Ala.), Austin Peay junior forward/center Jasmine Rayner (Memphis, Tenn.), Murray State junior guard Rachael Isom (Cleveland, Tenn.), Morehead State junior guard Courtney Lumpkin (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jacksonville State junior post player Brittany Wiley (Carrolton, Ga.).

Nixon paced the conference with 2.1 steals per game to go with 14.0 points each time out last year while Hayes was second in the league with 16.9 points per game and Jones recorded 12.0 points each time out to rank 10th. Weatherly made 37.7 percent of her three-point attempts to finish third in the conference last year while Cook put up 12.6 points per game to rank among league leaders. Rayner was fourth in the OVC with a 48.1 field goal percentage as Isom scored 11.9 points per game to rank 11th. Lumpkin was third on the team with 10.6 points each time out while Wiley led the Gamecocks in scoring (10.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg).

2010-11 OVC Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
1. Eastern Illinois (10 first-place votes) - 151
2. Morehead State (Seven first-place votes) -147
3. Austin Peay (Three first-place votes) -120
4. Tennessee Tech -117
5. UT Martin - 97
6. Murray State - 83
7. Eastern Kentucky - 79
8. Tennessee State - 45
9. Jacksonville State - 31
10. Southeast Missouri – 30

2010-11 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Team
Chynna Bozeman, Morehead State
Ta'Kenya Nixon, Eastern Illinois
Tacarra Hayes, Tennessee Tech
Alex Jones, Eastern Kentucky
Alecia Weatherly, UT Martin
Kellie Cook, Tennessee Tech
Jasmine Rayner, Austin Peay
Rachael Isom, Murray State
Courtney Lumpkin, Morehead State
Brittany Wiley, Jacksonville State


Preseason OVC Player of the Year: Chynna Bozeman, Morehead State