Murray State, SEMO women's teams tied for 5th place in preseason - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Murray State, SEMO women's teams tied for 5th place in preseason OVC poll

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
(KFVS) -

Belmont has been picked to win the 2016-17 Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball title in a preseason poll of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

The Bruins earned 241 points, including 21 first-place votes while UT Martin earned one first-place nod and 220 points for a second-place predicted finish. Eastern Kentucky picked up the last two first-place votes and 190 points to be selected third. SIUE is picked to finish fourth with 160 points while Murray State and Southeast Missouri tied with 146 points to be selected to finish fifth.

Rounding out the poll are Tennessee State (138), Jacksonville State (90), Austin Peay (82), Morehead State (75), Tennessee Tech (70) and Eastern Illinois (26).
Belmont is coming off a season in which it went 24-9 overall and 13-3 in the OVC to place second. The Bruins earned the No. 2 seed in the OVC Tournament and defeated Eastern Kentucky, 95-63, in the championship final to win their first tourney crown.

The 2016-17 regular-season beings on Nov. 11 with Conference play starting Dec. 29. Nine different teams have won a regular-season title with Tennessee Tech leading the way with 18.

2016-17 All-OVC Preseason Women's Basketball Team

The 2016-17 Preseason All-OVC team is headlined by Eastern Kentucky senior forward Jalen O'Bannon who was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year after earning All-OVC first team and All-Newcomers honors last year.
The preseason squad features student-athletes from seven different teams. Belmont leads the way with three selections while Tennessee State had two picks. Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State, Murray State, Southeast Missouri and UT Martin each have one honoree.
O'Bannon was an All-OVC first team and All-Newcomer pick last season. The Memphis, Tenn. native led the league with 9.8 rebounds per game while also ranking fifth with 17.2 points each time out. O'Bannon made 50.8 percent of her field goals while recording 38 blocks and 33 steals.
Earning Preseason All-Conference team honors this year after being named to the All-OVC first team last season were Belmont redshirt junior forward Kylee Smith (13.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and junior center Sally McCabe (12.2 ppg, 1.8 bpg); Murray State junior guard Ke'Shunan James (17.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Tennessee State senior forward Jayda Johnson (15.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg).
Rounding out the preseason squad after earning All-OVC second team honors last season are: Morehead State redshirt senior Brianna McQueen (15.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg); Southeast Missouri senior guard Bri Mitchell (13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg); Tennessee State senior forward I'mani Davis (12.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and UT Martin senior guard Jessy Ward (13.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
2016-17 OVC Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish                           
(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
1. Belmont (21 first-place votes) - 241
2. UT Martin (One first-place vote) - 220
3. Eastern Kentucky (Two first-place votes) - 190
4. SIUE - 160
t5. Murray State - 146
t5. Southeast Missouri - 146

7. Tennessee State - 138
8. Jacksonville State - 90
9. Austin Peay - 82
10. Morehead State - 75
11. Tennessee Tech - 70
12. Eastern Illinois - 26
(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team. 11 points awarded for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc.)
2016-17 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Team    
(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)

Preseason OVC Player of the Year: Jalen O'Bannon, Eastern Kentucky
Jalen O'Bannon, Eastern Kentucky
Ke'Shunan James, Murray State
Kylee Smith, Belmont
Jayda Johnson, Tennessee State
Sally McCabe, Belmont
Darby Maggard, Belmont
Jessy Ward, UT Martin
Bri Mitchell, Southeast Missouri
Brianna McQueen, Morehead State
I'mani Davis, Tennessee State   

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