Daugherty nets 20 points to reach milestone

Friday, January 16, 2009

Senior Sonya Daugherty launched a 3-pointer in front of her team's bench.

It swished through Thursday night, giving Daughtery 1,001 points in her Southeast Missouri State women's basketball career.

"I feel like it's a great accomplishment for me because not too many get that," Daugherty said.

Daugherty became the 15th player in Southeast history to score at least 1,000 points in her career.

"It's a nice accomplishment for her," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "She's a great offensive player. I'm glad that she reached that milestone. It's good that it's behind her."

Daugherty entered Thursday's game against Morehead State needing 17 points to reach the milestone. She got off to a quick start. She scored nine of the Redhawks' first 11 points in the game.

"I just stepped up and made big plays," Daugherty said of her fast start. "I know sooner or later someone on the team was going to step up and make some big shots."

She went 4 of 5 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line in the first half to finish with 15 points. She said no one mentioned the milestone during halftime.

Daugherty missed her first four shots in the second half before drilling the 3-pointer. She finished with a team-high 20 points and added six rebounds and four assists.

"I've been playing with Sonya for a while," Southeast senior Tarina Nixon said. "I'm happy for her and proud of her. I knew she'd do it. I just wanted to congratulate her."

Morehead State coach Mike Bradbury called timeout after Daugherty hit the shot, and the public address announcer at the Show Me Center congratulated Daugherty. The sparse crowd offered a loud ovation.

Daugherty chose Southeast because it was close to her home in St. Louis. She played her high school basketball at Hancock and didn't imagine she'd score 1,000 points when she started at Southeast.

"It never crossed my mind," she said. "I figured Division I, it was going to be a big difference coming out of high school.

"When I got here this year, they told me I was very close to it at the beginning of the season. I was just hoping I could get to it."

It took until her sophomore year for her to feel comfortable at the Division I level, and the nerves before or during games are long gone. She said there aren't even butterflies before big games, like Ohio Valley Conference tournament contests.

"It's way easier because you're already comfortable," she said. "You feel comfortable on the floor with your teammates. As long as you feel comfortable with your teammates, I feel there is no reason to be nervous on the floor."

Daugherty barely reached the 1,000-point mark before Nixon. With Nixon's 16 points in Thursday's 74-68 loss, she stands 21 points shy of joining her teammate in the 1,000 point club.

"Tarina and me, we've been here four years together," Daugherty said. "Basically we just wanted to pat each other on the back, whoever got it first."

Nixon said she didn't mind her teammate reaching the mark first, and will enjoy it when she reaches 1,000 career points.

"I didn't even know I was close until someone mentioned it at the beginning of the season," Nixon said. "I don't really even pay attention. ... If it happens, it happens.

"It's a great accomplishment and I've been playing at this school for four years. I want to have something to leave with."

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