Disappointing loss to Austin Peay still bothers Redhawks

Monday, January 29, 2007

Southeast let a big lead slip away in its last encounter with Austin Peay.

Southeast Missouri State's women still find it somewhat difficult to believe just how much they were dominated during the second half of a Jan. 13 game in Clarksville, Tenn.

Austin Peay outscored the Redhawks by 25 points in the final period as the Governors rolled to a 75-60 win, one of just three Ohio Valley Conference losses for Southeast.

The Redhawks hope to make amends today when Austin Peay visits the Show Me Center for a 5 p.m. tipoff.

Southeast (14-6, 9-3) is in second place in the OVC, just one game behind league-leading Morehead State. The Govs (7-13, 6-5) are in fourth place.

"We were very disappointed that night," Southeast senior center Lachelle Lyles said.

In the earlier meeting against Austin Peay, Southeast led by 15 points late in the first half and by 10 points at halftime as the Redhawks appeared to have things under control.

But the Govs shot 58.1 percent in the second half, when they outscored the Redhawks 52-27 to break Southeast's eight-game winning streak.

"Without question, that was our most disappointing OVC game," Southeast acting head coach John Ishee said. "We had a solid lead and we had a chance to jump on them in the second half.

"But we didn't come out [in the second half] with the fire we had to have and they took it to us. They kicked us pretty good. We'll have to play a lot better [today]."

The Redhawks were primarily hurt by Austin Peay's inside game in that first matchup.

Kellea Reeves, a 6-foot-2 sophomore center, scored 20 points, 15 coming in the second half. She hit eight of 10 shots, and for the season leads the OVC in field-goal percentage at 59.5.

Alicia Watson, a 6-1 senior forward, added 15 points against Southeast.

"It will not happen again," Lyles said, referring to Austin Peay's second-half dominance in the paint against Southeast's strong front line.

Reeves is the Govs' leading scorer on the season with just 9.9 points per game, but in OVC play she is averaging 14 points and shooting a sizzling 65.9 percent.

"They're very athletic, and they've got some girls who can score around the basket," Ishee said.

But since that big victory over Southeast, which marked Austin Peay's fourth win in five games, the Govs have not exactly taken off. They have lost two of their last three games, including Saturday's 68-54 home setback to Samford.

Today's contest, however, offers the Govs a chance to pull within a game of Southeast in the loss column if they can complete the season sweep of the Redhawks.

"I know they'll come in here really ready to play," Ishee said.

So should the Redhawks, who are coming off Saturday's scintillating 66-63 double-overtime home win over Murray State, which had been just ahead of Southeast in the OVC standings.

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