(Southeast Missourian file)
Southeast Missouri State senior center Lachelle Lyles says her goal is to lead the nation in rebounding.
Through the early part of the season, she isn't far off.
Thanks in large part to Thursday's record-setting 32-rebound performance against Tennessee State, Lyles ranks second in NCAA Division I with an average of 14.4 rebounds per game.
The only player ahead of the 6-foot-2 Lyles is Oklahoma All-American Courtney Paris. The 6-4 sophomore is averaging 14.6 rebounds per game. Paris also ranks eighth in scoring at 21.6 points per game for the 8-0, third-ranked Sooners.
Lyles' 32 rebounds in Thursday's win at Tennessee State broke an Ohio Valley Conference record that had stood for nearly 30 years. The previous mark of 28 rebounds was set in the 1977-78 season.
Lyles also now has the fourth-best single-game rebounding performance in NCAA Division I women's history as she became the first player in more than 20 years to grab as many as 30 rebounds.
Lyles, who is averaging 8.6 points per contest, followed up her monumental game with 15 rebounds during Saturday's 59-58 loss at Tennessee Tech.
For her most recent performances, Lyles was named the OVC player of the week on Monday. In addition to her rebounding, she scored 22 points in the two games, including a career-high 13 against Tennessee State.
Southeast (3-4, 1-1 OVC) returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a nonconference game against East Tennessee State at the Show Me Center.
The Redhawks resume OVC play at 2 p.m. Sunday with a home contest against Jacksonville State.