Otahks shoot for third win in a row

Monday, December 15, 2003

If Southeast Missouri State University's Otahkians are going to extend their winning streak and climb above .500 for the first time this year, coach B.J. Smith figures they'll have to defeat a tough opponent.

Smith knows a victory won't come easy tonight when Northern Illinois (3-2) pays a visit to the Show Me Center for a 7:30 p.m. game with the Otahkians (3-3).

Southeast will be shooting for its third consecutive triumph, but Smith said, "It's not going to be an easy game for us. Northern Illinois has already won at Wisconsin. They're going to be a very tough opponent."

Smith doesn't believe the Otahkians are near to clicking on all cylinders yet, but he has been encouraged by their recent play. Their last game was an 84-57 rout of Division II Southern Arkansas on Dec. 6. Prior to that, they destroyed Prairie View A&M 85-38 on Nov. 29.

"We're playing better, but we have to be more consistent, and we have to put two good halves together," Smith said.

Said junior center Chandra Brown, the reigning Ohio Valley Conference newcomer of the week, "It would be good to put a nice winning streak together, but we need to play a whole 40 minutes."

Brown, a second-team junior-college All-American last year, is Southeast's second-leading scorer and top rebounder as she averages 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds. She has also blocked a team-high five shots.

Senior guard Kenja White, last season's OVC newcomer of the year, leads the Otahkians in scoring with 13.3 points per game.

Also lending solid offensive support have been two more newcomers, junior guard Sami Jo Cotton (8.7 ppg) and freshman guard Jessica Aebi (8.5 ppg). Aebi is shooting 42.1 percent from 3-point range. Senior guard Sarah Costello is averaging four assists per game.

Northern Illinois is led by 5-11 senior forward Lindsay Sechrest (11.6 ppg) and 6-foot sophomore forward Joi Scott (10.4 ppg). Scott is shooting a sizzling 59.4 percent from the field while Sechrest is hitting 46.2 percent of her 3-pointers.

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