Southeast easily dispatches Central Arkansas to move to 3-0

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Redhawks opened a 24-point lead at halftime and cruised from there.

CONWAY, Ark. -- For the first time in more than a decade, the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team started a season 3-0.

And the Redhawks barely worked up a sweat in attaining that record Saturday, as they routed host Central Arkansas 91-60.

Southeast had not started 3-0 since the 1994-95 campaign.

"We played pretty well for the most part," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "We jumped on them in the first half and never let them get in the game.

"It was nice to be able to play everybody, to give everybody some quality minutes."

After struggling past Division II Henderson State at home 59-58 on Tuesday night, the Redhawks had no such problems with Central Arkansas (0-3).

Southeast piled up a 49-25 halftime lead and was able to rest its starters for most of the second half.

"We played a lot better defensively. We had better ball movement," Ishee said of the improvement from Tuesday's contest.

Senior forward/center Missy Whitney, Southeast's leading scorer on the season, paced the Redhawks with 19 points and eight rebounds in just 23 minutes.

Senior guard Ashley Lovelady scored 13 points to go along with three assists and three steals.

Junior forward Sonya Daugherty scored 11 points and added four steals.

"Missy was Missy, and Ashley and Sonya also played well," Ishee said.

Three Southeast reserves also reached double figures in scoring, led by junior college transfer guard Tierra Johnson with 12 points. She hit 5-of-6 field-goal attempts, including 2-of-3 3-pointers.

"She played really well," Ishee said.

Junior college transfer forward Crysta Glenn and freshman guard Lauren Sharpe both added 10 points as they joined Johnson in reaching scoring highs for their young Southeast careers.

Glenn also had six rebounds, while Sharpe recorded a team-high four assists.

"Lauren and Crysta both did a good job," Ishee said. "Really, it was a complete team win."

Southeast shot 49.2 percent from the field, including 50 percent on 3-pointers, forced 29 turnovers and held a 40-31 rebounding advantage.

"We just played well all the way around," Ishee said.

On a down note, junior point guard Tarina Nixon did not see action as she continues to have back problems.

"It was stiff. We could have played her, but we just want to make sure she's ready for OVC time," Ishee said.

Southeast will shoot for its first 4-0 start on the Division I level Tuesday when Cumberland (Tenn.) University visits the Show Me Center. Cumberland was second in last year's NAIA national tournament.

The last time Southeast won its first four games was during the 1990-91 season, the program's last on the Division II level. That team started 6-0 on its way to a national runner-up finish.

-- From staff reports

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