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Road work ahead: 'Hawks hope to end two skids against Govs

Monday, January 30, 2006

Southeast looks to end a six-game losing streak at a venue where it has lost seven straight.

Southeast Missouri State will attempt to snap its six-game losing streak at a place where the Redhawks have had no success at all in recent years.

The Redhawks (6-13, 3-10 Ohio Valley Conference) have lost seven straight times at Austin Peay (11-10, 6-6) heading into tonight's 7:30 tipoff in Clarksville, Tenn.

Southeast has not won on the Governors' home court -- the Dunn Center --since the 1998-99 season.

"We've had trouble there, and a lot of that has to do with Austin Peay always having very good basketball teams," Southeast coach Gary Garner said.

It doesn't matter where the Redhawks play, they simply need a win in the worst way as they continue to see their hopes of qualifying for the OVC tournament fading fast.

Southeast, coming off Saturday's 76-69 home loss to Murray State, has dipped into sole possession of 10th place in the 11-team conference. Only the top eight finishers qualify for the league tournament.

"We just need a win bad," said senior guard Roy Booker, the OVC's leading scorer at 22.5 points per game, which ranks 14th nationally. "I can't believe we've lost six games in a row."

Austin Peay has also found the going rough lately, losing three straight -- all on the road -- including two in conference play. The Govs, coming off Saturday's 84-68 defeat at Samford, are in sixth place.

"They've hit the skids a little bit, but I'm sure they're glad to be back at home, where they're really tough to beat," Garner said.

The Govs have already beaten the Redhawks once this year, 63-56 on Jan. 14 at the Show Me Center.

In a season filled with poor shooting games for the Redhawks, they almost hit rock bottom in that contest, making just 33.3 percent of their field goal attempts.

That was Southeast's worst OVC shooting performance of the campaign, and second-worst overall.

Austin Peay built a 47-31 lead with under 8 minutes left. Southeast pulled to within 57-53 with under a minute remaining, but the Govs finished strong for the victory.

As has been the case too often, Booker was the Redhawks' only real scoring threat in that game as he poured in 33 points. No other Southeast player had more than eight points.

"We really struggled with our shooting in that game, but that's kind of the way things have been all year," Garner said. "We fell behind by too much against a team like Austin Peay. We can't have that happen this time."

The Govs are led by senior guard Maurice Hampton (16.5 ppg) and senior center Zac Schlader (15.1 ppg).

"We just need a win to get us going," Booker said. "There's still enough time left [in the season] to do something."

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