Hayes named first OVC Player of the Week of 2009-10 season

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Sophomore Tacarra Hayes was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday following her performance in two games at last weekend's Islander Tip-Off Tournament.

Hayes has now received two honors in the past three days, as the guard from Lebanon, Ky., was voted to the Islander Tip-Off All-Tournament Team following the completion of the tournament on Saturday evening.

"I think Tacarra played with a tremendous amount of heart and desire over the past two games," said Sytia Messer, Golden Eagles head coach. "She put the team on her back at times."

This is the first time that Hayes has earned the OVC Player of the Week honors.

After starting 11 games last season as a freshman, Hayes entered her sophomore season as the team's leading returning scorer from a season ago. However, through two games this season, she has shown that there is much more to her game than simply scoring. The 5-foot-7 guard currently leads the team in scoring (18.5 ppg), rebounding (7.5 rpg) and assists (4.0 apg).

"She's a versatile player because she plays so hard," Messer said. "Right now, she's our most aggressive player getting to the basket. She is stepping up and being our leader right now."

In two games last weekend, Hayes scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting with nine rebounds and two assists against Alabama, and followed that up with 16 points, six assists and six rebounds in the win over Air Force.

"She's our offensive catalyst," Messer said. "We've put in some plays that allow her the chance to get to the rim, and she has taken advantage of those opportunities."

Hayes and the Golden Eagles will return to action on Tuesday evening when Tech takes on nationally-ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.