The Eastern women’s basketball team is currently second to last in the Ohio Valley Conference standings, but they still have a very good chance to make the conference tournament in early March.
The Panthers are 7-14 overall with a record of 3-6 in OVC play and they have seven games remaining on their schedule. Right now there is five teams, including the Panthers, with an identical 3-6 record. Eight teams make it into the conference tournament and the current No. 8 seed is Jacksonville State who the Panthers defeated earlier this season.
The conference leader is Belmont who is the only team that has yet to lose a conference matchup so far this season. They are on an 11-game winning streak and have a record of 17-5 and 9-0 in OVC play. The rest of the conference has not been able to get much separation for each other at this point. In second place is Morehead State with a 6-3 record in conference and Austin Peay, Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Tennessee Tech follow them with records of 5-4.
The middle of the pack is Murray State and Eastern Kentucky with 4-4 conference records. Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, Southeast Missouri, Eastern and Tennessee-Martin round out the rest of the conference with 3-6 records. Eastern, like the other 3-6 teams, controls its own destiny starting with matchups against Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech this Wednesday and Saturday.
They get Tennessee-Martin and Southeast Missouri next week, two 3-6 teams that the Panthers have beaten this season already. Murray State, Austin Peay and Southern Illinois Edwardsville are the final three teams that the Panthers will face.
Southern Illinois Edwardsville defeated Eastern on Saturday to push its win streak to four. Belmont has been very dominate this season and that shows with them being at the top of 10 statistical categories in the conference. Belmont has had no trouble on offense this season leading the conference in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and rebounding offense and margin.
Darby Maggard has helped Belmont from the 3-point line this season as she is leading the conference in both 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals made. The leading scorer in the conference is Ke’Shunan James from Murray State. She averages 19.5 points per game. Senior Erica Brown is leading the league in rebounding for the Panthers with 8.3 rebounds per game. Junior Grace Lennox is the conference leader for minutes played with 38.3 minutes per game.
With still a month to go left in the season, the standings are still likely to shake up in the OVC.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]