The Daily Eastern News

Notebook: 4 OVC women’s basketball teams win in opening games

Junior+guard+Danielle+Berry+drives+to+the+basket+during+Eastern%E2%80%99s+102-43+victory+over+Oakland+City+Tuesday+in+Lantz+Arena.
Junior guard Danielle Berry drives to the basket during Eastern’s 102-43 victory over Oakland City Tuesday in Lantz Arena.

Junior guard Danielle Berry drives to the basket during Eastern’s 102-43 victory over Oakland City Tuesday in Lantz Arena.

Adam Tumino

Adam Tumino

Junior guard Danielle Berry drives to the basket during Eastern’s 102-43 victory over Oakland City Tuesday in Lantz Arena.

Adam Tumino, Women's Basketball Reporter

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The 2018-19 season began on Tuesday for six of the OVC’s 12 women’s basketball teams. Four of the teams won their opening games, and the other two suffered losses. 

Among the four victorious teams, the average margin of victory was 36 points. 

Eastern scored the most points in its opener, beating Oakland City 102-43. The 59-point margin was also the highest from the conference’s opening games. 

Eastern finished in last place in the OVC last season with a conference record of 2-16 and an overall record of 3-26. 

The Panthers were led on Tuesday by junior Carmen Tellez. She scored 13 points in 11 minutes and went 4-6 from the field, including 3-5 from three-point range. She also added two free throws. 

Jacksonville State, which finished in fifth place last season, doubled up their opponent on Tuesday. They beat Florida A&M 62-31. 

The Gamecocks were led in scoring by senior Rayven Pearson, who scored 14 points and collected 10 rebounds.

Last season’s 10th place team, Tennessee Tech, won their opener 88-55 over Cumberland University. The 33-point margin of victory was the second-highest for an OVC team on Tuesday. 

The Golden Eagles’ leading scorer was senior Lacy Cantrell, who scored 19 points in 20 minutes off the bench. She shot 8-10 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line. 

Tennessee-Martin scored 89 points in their opener, which was the second-most points scored behind Eastern. Sophomore guard Zaire Hicks led the way with 16 points and five assists in 23 minutes. 

Hicks played in 32 games as a freshman last season, but only started one game for the Skyhawks, who finished in second place in the OVC. She averaged 2.9 points and 0.9 assists per game. 

The two losing teams in the OVC had tougher matchups on Tuesday. 

Austin Peay lost 69-48 against Cincinnati. The Bearcats played in the WNIT last March but lost to Michigan State in the opening round 81-75. 

Southeast Missouri suffered the worst loss of the OVC teams that played on Tuesday, but also played the best opponent. 

The Redhawks lost to Mississippi State 88-53. Mississippi State was ranked sixth in the NCAA according to the preseason AP Top-25. They were also a one seed in the NCAA Tournament last season and lost in the championship game 61-58 against Notre Dame. 

Among the OVC teams who did not play on Tuesday was last season’s top seed, Belmont. The 

Bruins were 31-4 last season and 27-6 in the 2016-17 season. 

Belmont has also not lost a conference game since February 15, 2016. 

There are still approximately two months until conference play begins for this season in early January. 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

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Notebook: 4 OVC women’s basketball teams win in opening games