Golden Eagles Hayes, Harris net all-OVC honors

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. --- Tennessee Tech senior Tacarra Hayes and junior Jala Harris have earned a trio of all-Ohio Valley Conference selections after helping the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team to an 11-5 conference record and a No. 3 seed in the OVC Tournament.

Hayes was named to her third straight all-OVC First Team, while Harris was named to the all-OVC Second Team and the all-Newcomer Team.

The all-conference teams were voted on by the head coaches and sports information directors from OVC.

Making 29 starts in 30 games, Hayes became the eighth Golden Eagle to receive at least three all-OVC First Team nods, and the first since Emily Christian achieved that feat in 2006.

A two-time OVC Player of the Week winner this season, Hayes averaged a team-high 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. She also recorded three double-doubles and led the team in assists with 118 and steals with 40.

“We’re very proud of Tacarra for being named to the all-OVC First Team,” head coach Sytia Messer said. “Tacarra has been instrumental to our offensive scheme during the past three seasons. To be named one of the top players in the OVC is definitely something we have come to expect from Tacarra.”

Over the course of her four-year career at Tech, Hayes has climbed up the record book in several categories and is 10th all-time in scoring (1,705), 11th in rebounds (671), eighth in assists (420) and 11th in steals (173).

In just 20 games this season, Harris made an instant impact for the Golden Eagles as she finished second on the team in scoring averaging 14.7 points per game. For her efforts, Harris was named to the all-OVC Second Team and became the second straight Golden Eagle to be named to the OVC all-Newcomer Team.

“I’m excited for the future that Jala brings to our program,” Messer said. “Since coming in around Christmas, Jala has made an instant impact and that is great for the future of our team.”

Harris, who was named the OVC Newcomer of the Week three times this season, finished second on the team in scoring with 294 points, second in three point field goals with 24 and third on the team in assists with 51.

The Golden Eagles will be back in action Thursday after their first round bye, as they take on the winner of the Eastern Kentucky/Tennessee State game at 2 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.

All-OVC First Team

Ta’Kenya Nixon, Eastern Illinois

Jasmine Newsome, UT Martin

Heather Butler, UT Martin

Whitney Hanley, Austin Peay

Tacarra Hayes, Tennessee Tech

 

All-OVC Second Team

Courtney Lumpkin, Morehead State

Raven Berry, SIUE

Mariah King, Eastern Illinois

Erica Burgess, Murray State

Jasmine Shuler, Tennessee State

Jala Harris, Tennessee Tech

 

All-Newcomer Team

Jade Barber, Eastern Kentucky

Briana Morrow, Jacksonville State

Jala Harris, Tennessee Tech

Erica Burgess, Murray State

Katie Hempen, SIUE

 

Player of the Year: Jasmine Newsome, UT Martin

Defensive Player of the Year: Ta’Kenya Nixon, Eastern Illinois

Freshman of the Year: Katie Hempen, SIUE

Coach of the Year: Amanda Levens, SIUE