Several OVC teams riding winning streaks

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Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern guard Kira Arthofer plays defense on the perimeter in a game against Morehead State on Jan. 14 in Lantz Arena. The Panthers won the game 65-50.

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

Much is still uncertain in the OVC women’s basketball standings with over a month remaining in the regular season.

Teams near the top of the standings can still end up near the bottom, and teams that are struggling still have time to climb out of their holes.

As things stand now, there are several teams in the conference that are riding winning streaks and look primed to remain near the top of the standings when the season wraps up.

Belmont currently sits in first place, but they have only played one conference game to this point.

The other three teams in the top four in the standings have been hot lately.

Second-place Southeast Missouri has won five games in a row and are now 5-1 in conference play. Tied for third place are Jacksonville State and Tennessee-Martin with conference records of 4-1.

Jacksonville State has won four straight conference games and five straight overall. Tennessee-Martin has won three OVC games in a row.

The only other OVC team on a winning streak is Eastern, which has won three in a row to improve to 4-4 in conference play.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is 11th-place Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. which has lost three straight conference games, and last-place Tennessee State, which has lost seven conference games in a row and is 0-9 overall this season.

The defensive leaderboards this season are actually more reflective of the standings than the offensive leaderboards. Four of the top five teams in terms of defense are also in the top five in the standings.

Only two of the OVC’s top offensive teams are in the top five in the standings.

Murray State currently holds the conference’s top offense, averaging 71.7 points per game. Eastern ranks second in offense with an average of 71.3 points per game.

Belmont holds the top defense in the OVC by allowing just 57.5 points per game, albeit in just six games. Jacksonville State ranks second, allowing 57.7 points per game.

Individually, Tennessee-Martin senior forward Chelsey Perry unsurprisingly leads the OVC in scoring. In fact, Perry’s 29.3 points per game lead all of Division I.

She was named OVC Player of the Week on Tuesday after having 32 points and 11 rebounds against Austin Peay and 36 points and 11 rebounds against Murray State.

Perry also set a new Tennessee-Martin record in career blocks last week and is one of only two players in the nation to have 20 or more points in each game this season.

Eastern is the only team in the OVC to have three players in the top-10 in scoring this season.

Senior guard Karle Pace and junior forward Abby Wahl are tied for fifth averaging 15 points per game and sophomore guard Lariah Washington ranks ninth averaging 14.3 points per game.

Pace was nominated for player of the week after scoring 48 points, including a career-high 32 points on Jan. 16 against Eastern Kentucky.

The only Eastern player to lead the OVC in a category is junior guard Kira Arthofer, who leads the conference with 4.9 assists per game. She also set a new career high against Eastern Kentucky with 11 assists in the game.

 

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