Redhawks try to end five-game skid tonight vs. Tennessee Tech

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Top two teams in the OVC preseason poll both lost their conference openers.

The teams picked to finish one-two in the Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball race lost their league openers at home to the squads that tied for the cellar a year ago.

Southeast Missouri State, the two-time defending OVC regular-season and tournament champion, hopes to restore some order today.

The Redhawks will try to bounce back from Thursday's 61-49 upset at the hands of Tennessee State when Tennessee Tech visits the Show Me Center for a 5 p.m. tipoff.

"We have to move on. We have to put it [Thursday[']s loss] behind us and get ready for the next game," senior guard Ashley Lovelady said.

Southeast, which is 4-5 and has lost five straight, was the heavy preseason OVC favorite.

But the Redhawks weren't alone in suffering a surprising home defeat in their first conference game.

Samford, the preseason No. 2 pick, fell to Jacksonville State 76-63, which tied with Tennessee State for last place in the OVC a year ago.

"We got beat at home, Samford got beat at home," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "It's just one game."

Tech (1-5, 0-1) dropped its league opener, falling 66-64 in overtime at Eastern Illinois on Thursday.

The Eagles, like Southeast, have had offensive and rebounding problems.

Tech is 10th in the 11-team OVC in scoring at 60.3 points per game, while the Redhawks are last (58.6).

The Eagles are last in 3-point shooting (27.6 percent) and last in rebounding margin (minus 9.7), while Southeast is last in field-goal shooting (33.6 percent), 10th in 3-point shooting (28.3 percent) and ninth in rebounding margin (minus 7.2)

The Redhawks do top the league in scoring defense at 61.4 points per game.

Kristina Tyler, a 6-foot-1 senior center, leads Tech offensively at 12.8 points per game, and she is the OVC's No. 5 rebounder with an 8.7 average.

Also scoring in double figures for the Eagles are 5-6 junior guard Meagan Lyons (11.5) and 5-9 sophomore guard Holly Rogers (11.0), a transfer from Vanderbilt.

"They've got some good players," Ishee said. "I expect a tough game. We've just got to try and bounce back."

The Redhawks will play their second straight game without senior center Missy Whitney, the OVC preseason player of the year who is out indefinitely after suffering a foot injury Sunday at Purdue.

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