Basketball

Former Ballard star Tearra Banks named OVC women’s player of the year

Wire and Staff Reports

Austin Peay’s Tearra Banks averages 19.3 points and eight rebounds per game.
Austin Peay’s Tearra Banks averages 19.3 points and eight rebounds per game. Ohio Valley Conference

Austin Peay senior Tearra Banks, who starred in high school at Ballard, was voted the Ohio Valley Conference’s women’s basketball player of the year.

Regular-season champion Belmont took two awards with Cameron Newbauer, a former University of Louisville assistant, named the league’s coach of the year and center Sally McCabe the defensive player of the year.

Banks, who averages 19.3 points and eight rebounds per game, notched 17 double-doubles this season for Austin Peay to win the award announced Tuesday as voted on by league coaches and sports information directors.

“I’m proud of the work Tearra has put in to change her conditioning and work on her game,” Austin Peay Coach David Midlick said. “In games, she commands two or three players guarding her, and we try to replicate that in practice. She has battled for the past four months, and in the offseason before the season began. I’m excited for her to earn this award.”

Belmont (24-5), winners of 18 straight overall, went 16-0 in league play under Newbauer. McCabe ranks 15th nationally averaging 2.72 blocks per game and a big part of Belmont leading the OVC in rebounding.

Kendall Spray is the league’s freshman of the year after she set the UT Martin freshman single-season three-point records, topping Heather Butler’s previous mark of 87.

Eastern Kentucky’s Jalen O’Bannon also made the All-OVC first team along with Banks.

Former Madison Central star Ashton Feldhaus, a junior, made the All-OVC second team and All-Newcomer squads.

EKU’s Shavaonte Naylor was also voted one the league’s top newcomers.

OVC awards

OVC Player of the Year: Tearra Banks, Austin Peay

OVC Freshman of the year: Kendall Spray, UT Martin

OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Sally McCabe, Belmont

OVC Coach of the Year: Cameron Newbauer, Belmont

ALL-OVC FIRST TEAM

C Tearra Banks, Austin Peay

F/G Ke’Shunan James, Murray State

G Darby Maggard, Belmont

F Kylee Smith, Belmont

G Grace Lennox, Eastern Illinois

G Brianna McQueen, Morehead State

G Yaktavia Hickson, Tennessee Tech

C Sally McCabe, Belmont

F Jalen O’Bannon, Eastern Kentucky

G Bri Mitchell, SE Missouri

ALL-OVC SECOND TEAM

G Donshel Beck, SIUE

G Miranda Crockett, Morehead State

F Ashton Feldhaus, UT Martin

G Kendall Spray, UT Martin

G Myah Taylor, UT Martin

ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM

F Ashton Feldhaus, UT Martin

G Kendall Spray, UT Martin

G Shavontae Naylor, Eastern Kentucky

G Lacey Buchanon, Jacksonville State

G Nakiah Bell, SIUE

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