Redhawks strive for 7th victory in a row

Monday, January 30, 2006

Southeast enters tonight's game at Austin Peay tied for first in the OVC.

When Southeast Missouri State beat Austin Peay on Jan. 14 at the Show Me Center, the Redhawks ended the Governors' six-game winning streak.

Today, in a 5:15 p.m. tipoff at the Dunn Center in Clarksville, Tenn., the Redhawks will attempt to extend their own winning streak to seven in a row.

Southeast (12-7, 9-3 Ohio Valley Conference) is in a three-way tie for first place in the 11-team OVC while Austin Peay (9-9, 6-5) is in fifth place after Saturday's upset of Samford, which had been in sole possession of the top spot.

"We're happy to win six in a row, but we just want to keep it going," Southeast senior center Tatiana Conceicao said.

The Redhawks are closing in on their longest winning streak since moving up to Division I in 1991-92, a 10-game string put together by last year's team that compiled the program's best Division I record.

Southeast's longest winning streak in school history is 21 straight by the 1990-91 squad that finished second in the Division II national tournament.

"It's nice to have a streak going, but we're not really focusing on that," Southeast coach B.J. Smith said. "We just want to focus on the things that have helped us start playing a lot better. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself."

In the earlier meeting between the squads, Austin Peay came to Cape Girardeau having won six straight. At halftime, the Govs were in position to continue that streak as they trailed just 28-27. But the Redhawks exploded in the second half and rolled to a 72-54 victory, the second consecutive triumph in their current hot stretch.

Southeast controlled Austin Peay star Ashley Haynes in that contest, limiting her to 10 points (on four of 10 shooting) and six rebounds, thanks largely to the defensive work of senior forward Simone Jackson.

Haynes, a senior forward, is the OVC's fifth-leading scorer (15.8 ppg) and leading rebounder (12.8 rpg). She is also first in the conference in field-goal shooting (56.5 percent).

"We really kept her under control the first time, but she's a very good player," Smith said. "Austin Peay has a good team, and they'll be tough to beat at their place, especially coming off the big win at Samford."

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