Redhawks handle Governors

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Southeast women improved to 4-0 in OVC road games.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team let struggling Austin Peay hang around for a half.

But the second half was no contest as the Redhawks kept their Ohio Valley Conference road record perfect and handed the Govs their ninth straight defeat, 70-54 on Saturday night.

Southeast, bouncing back from Monday's home loss to Murray State, improved to 10-6 overall and 5-2 in the OVC. The Redhawks are tied for second place in the 11-team league.

The Redhawks are 4-0 in OVC road games, but just 1-2 at home.

"It's hard to win on the road," senior guard Ashley Lovelady said. "So far we've been doing a good job of it."

Austin Peay (4-12, 1-6) gave the Redhawks all they wanted for the opening 20 minutes, which featured six lead changes and six ties.

Southeast pulled away from a 24-24 deadlock by scoring the final five points to go up 29-24 at the break.

"We expect every team to give us their best shot," junior point guard Tarina Nixon said.

The Redhawks were able to enter the break ahead despite senior center Missy Whitney -- Southeast's No. 2 scorer and top rebounder -- playing only five first-half minutes because she picked up two quick fouls.

Whitney had three first-half points.

"I felt great at the half," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "We were up and Missy hadn't played much."

Whitney was whistled for her third foul less than 20 seconds into the second half.

But Whitney didn't let that hold her back as she scored nine points in the first six minutes of the final period, sparking a 12-6 run as Southeast opened a 41-30 lead.

"When Missy's out, everybody tries to contribute," Nixon said. "But it's always good to have Missy on the floor."

Southeast had no trouble the rest of the way, building a 17-point advantage midway through the half and coasting home. The Redhawks' biggest lead was 21 points.

"We figured they'd come at us hard [in the first half]. We know we get everybody's best shot," Lovelady said. "We just wanted to keep our focus and come out harder in the second half."

Whitney scored 15 points in 18 second-half minutes to finish with a team-high 18 points. She made 2-of-3 from 3-point range and added three blocked shots.

Nixon went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and scored 14 points. She added six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Junior guard Sonya Daugherty was another double-figure scorer for Southeast with 13 points. She had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Junior forward Crysta Glenn added eight points off the bench. She scored seven points in 15 first-half minutes while Whitney was in foul trouble.

"Crysta gave us a nice lift," Ishee said.

Southeast held the Govs to 40.4-percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers, 13 coming off steals.

The Redhawks shot 46.8 percent, made 8-of-18 3-pointers (44.4 percent) and had 13 turnovers.

"Austin Peay has a lot of talent. It's just youth and inexperience," Ishee said. "I feel good about this win."

Southeast, continuing a stretch that has it playing six of seven conference games on the road, visits Tennessee State on Thursday night.

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