Panthers tied for 7th in OVC standings


Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern sophomore guard Lariah Washington looks to pass the ball into the paint in a game against Belmont Feb. 4 in Lantz Arena. Washington led the team with 23 points and added 6 assists and 4 rebounds. The Panthers lost the game 77-75.

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

With just two and a half weeks left in the regular season, the women’s basketball teams of the OVC have a limited time to settle into their final seeding.

As it currently stands, the eight teams currently in line for an OVC Tournament slot all have records of .500 or above. If this holds up, it would be the first time since 2013 that all the teams in the tournament had a record of .500 or better.

That season, Eastern was the No. 1 seed with a conference record of 12-4 before losing to Tennessee-Martin in the semifinal round of the OVC Tournament.

This season, Eastern is tied for seventh place with Murray State. Each team has a conference record of 7-7.

Each team is trending upward as well, with the Panthers winning six of their last nine games and the Racers winning five of their last eight.

The conference’s leading team is still Tennessee-Martin, although they just had a 10-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Tennessee Tech on Feb. 6.

The Skyhawks are now 11-2 in OVC play.

Second-place Austin Peay and third-place Southeast Missouri are both surging, as each team is riding a three-game winning streak.

Austin Peay will play Tennessee-Martin Feb. 11 and Southeast Missouri Feb. 13, games that may very well shake up the top of the standings a bit.

Tennessee State is still searching for its first win of the season. The Tigers are 0-14 in OVC play and 0-16 overall. They have lost 19 games in a row dating back to last season.

Tennessee State has the lowest-scoring offense in the OVC, averaging just 47.9 points per game. Their rival to the west, Tennessee-Martin, is leading the conference with 70.7 points per game.

The Skyhawks’ offensive output is not surprising considering the continued excellence of senior forward Chelsey Perry.

Perry is leading the OVC in points per game, averaging 25.7 points per game. This number is 7 points higher than the next-closest player, Southeast Missouri’s Tesia Thompson.

Perry is the nation’s fifth-leading scorer and was recently named one of 10 finalists for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award. She is the only finalists who was also a finalist last season.

Eastern is still the only team in the conference with three players in the top-10 in scoring, as has been the case much of the season.

Junior forward Abby Wahl ranks fourth with 15.4 points per game, sophomore guard Lariah Washington ranks eighth with 14.5 points per game and senior guard Karle Pace ranks ninth with 13.9 points per game.


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