Redhawks' TV loss was not big in the overall picture

Monday, January 11, 2010

A season is never judged by one game. For that the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team can be thankful because the Redhawks certainly failed to impress a national television audience Saturday at Eastern Illinois.

Southeast was hammered 88-68 in an Ohio Valley Conference game that was never close.

Dickey Nutt's rebuilding process is only in its infant stages and the first-year Southeast coach knows there will be plenty of bumps in the road before the program gets back on track.

Folks across the country watching on ESPNU saw one of those bumps as the Panthers led from start to finish, including by 20 points at halftime and by 29 points in the second half.

The game again demonstrated that Southeast has little margin for error. If the Redhawks are not clicking on most cylinders and displaying maximum passion and energy, it's hard for them to win. If they're playing poorly and the other squad is at or near the top of its game, then a blowout like Saturday's occurs.

But there are 13 conference contests left and the Redhawks (5-10 overall, 2-3 OVC) are on pace to make a strong push for an OVC tournament berth, which would be a notable accomplishment.

Even if Southeast does qualify for the tournament, there will be more bumps along the way. That's the norm for a team in the rebuilding process.

Southeast women were beaten even worse than the men Saturday as Eastern Illinois romped 67-39.

The Redhawks (5-9, 2-3) played without two starters, freshman guard Jasmine Davis and junior wing Lauren Sharpe.

Davis' season-ending knee injury was a tough break not only for the team but for the talented player who leads the Redhawks in scoring.

Davis, hurt in the final minute of Monday's home win over Jacksonville State, suffered a torn ACL that will require surgery.

Davis was averaging 10 points per game and leading the OVC in free-throw shooting at 87.7 percent.

The good news is that Davis is expected to make a complete recovery for next season. Hopefully that will turn out to be the case for the bubbly Davis, who always seems to have a smile on her face.

Meanwhile, Sharpe missed Saturday's contest with back problems that have plagued her at various times during her Southeast career. Her status for the near future is undetermined.

Murray State has been the OVC's most impressive men's basketball team so far. The Racers' 5-0 conference record represents their best start since the 1998-99 season.

The Racers improved to 13-3 overall with Saturday's 69-53 win at Austin Peay.

Morehead State (10-6, 5-1), Eastern Illinois (10-5, 4-1) and Eastern Kentucky (11-6, 4-2) round out the top four behind Murray State.

There are no longer any OVC women's squads without a conference loss after Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State lost Saturday.

Eastern Kentucky (8-7, 5-1) was thumped 75-47 at Tennessee Tech, while Morehead State (12-6, 5-1) fell 70-60 at Jacksonville State.

Eastern Illinois (8-8, 4-1) and Austin Peay (5-12, 4-2) round out the top four.

The Southeast men and women face huge challenges as they continue three-game road swings Thursday at Morehead State and Saturday at Eastern Kentucky.

Former Tennessee-Martin basketball standout Lester Hudson has a new NBA team.

The Memphis Grizzlies claimed Hudson off waivers Friday after he had been waived by the Boston Celtics on Jan. 6.

Hudson, a two-time All-American and OVC player of the year, was the nation's second leading scorer as a senior last season. He was drafted by the Celtics in the second round with their only pick of the 2009 draft.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard averaged 1.4 points and 0.5 assists in 4.4 minutes covering 16 appearances this season with the Celtics. Boston also assigned Hudson to two different stints with its NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in five games.

Hudson was among 26 players recently selected to the Mid-Major All-Decade Team, along with Henry Domercant of Eastern Illinois.

Domercant was one of the nation's most prolific scorers from 2000 to 2003. Three times the guard/forward ranked among the nation's top five scorers, including second in 2002 and 2003. An All-American and OVC player of the year, Domercant finished his career as the OVC career scoring leader with 2,602 points.

Southeast volleyball recruit Colleen Yarber, a senior at Freeburg (Ill.) High School, was named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch player of the year.

Yarber, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, led Freeburg to a 39-2 record and its second consecutive Illinois Class 2A state championship.

The Missouri basketball team picked up a nice win Saturday, beating 11th-ranked Kansas State 74-68 in the Tigers' Big 12 Conference opener.

Despite losing their top three scorers and top two rebounders from last season, the Tigers (13-3) are off to a solid start and should make a strong push for another NCAA tournament berth.

Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: