Column: Breaking down the rest of the OVC

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

As the start of the 2020-21 women’s basketball season draws ever nearer, it is a good time to take an in-depth look at the rest of the OVC.

On Wednesday, we took a look at the top five teams in the conference last season, not including Eastern.

Now let’s take a look at the rest of the conference, examining the teams that just got into the OVC Tournament and the ones that fell short and are looking to bounce back.

 

Austin Peay

The Governors were the last team in the conference to post a conference record of .500 or above last season, finishing the regular season with a 9-9 record against OVC opponents.

They thrived on offense, ranking fourth in the OVC with a points per game average of 68.1.

They ranked lower in defense, ranking eighth in the conference, but still posted a positive scoring margin on the season.

Austin Peay has lost its leading scorer, Arielle Gonzalez-Varner, but are returning their second and third leading scorers.

 

Murray State

The Racers snuck in to the OVC Tournament as the eighth seed last season after posting a conference record of 7-11.

They ranked fifth in the conference in offense, but were sunk in the standings due to their 11th-ranked defense. As a result, Murray State ranked 10th in the conference in scoring margin, being outscored by an average of 7.8 points per game.

Their offense should be solid this season as well with the team returning each of its top-five scorers from last season, including Macey Turley who ranked fifth in the conference averaging 16.6 points per game.

 

Morehead State

Just missing out on the OVC Tournament last season were the Eagles.

Their rankings were consistent, as they ranked eighth in the conference in offense, ninth in defense and eighth in scoring margin.

The Eagles were a good rebounding team, however, ranking third in the OVC in rebounding margin. The only teams ranked ahead of them in that category were Southeast Missouri, Belmont and Tennessee-Martin, who were the top-three teams in the OVC last season.

 

Eastern Kentucky

The Colonels were near the middle of the conference in defense last season, ranking seventh allowing an average of 65 points per game.

Offensive struggles led them to a 10th place finish and 5-13 conference record. They ranked 11th in the conference in points per game, averaging just 58.1.

Eastern Kentucky also lost its leading scorer in Teri Goodlett, and their top returning scorer is Bria Bass who averaged 8.9 points per game last season.

 

Tennessee State

With just two conference wins last season, the Tigers found themselves in 11th place in the OVC.

They had the worst scoring margin in the conference, being outscored by an average of 16.7 points per game.

Tennessee State had the lowest-ranked defense in the OVC, allowing 76.4 points per game, and the 10th-ranked offense, averaging 59.6 points per game.

They enter the season without last season’s leading scorer Jazmine Young, who ranked 10th in the OVC in points per game with 12.4 points per game.

She was the highest scorer in the conference for a team that did not make the OVC Tournament.

 

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville

Bringing up the rear in the OVC last season, the Cougars had a conference record of 1-17. It was quite a drop from the season before when they had a conference record of 8-10. They even finished third in the conference as recently as the 2017-18 season.

They will be returning their leading scorer in Allie Troeckler, who averaged 10.8 points per game last season.

 

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