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Southeast women see chance to gain ground in OVC
The Redhawks will face two teams they beat earlier this season
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team faces a two-game road trip this week against squads it beat earlier this month.
But that was when the Redhawks were at full strength.
Today's contest at Jacksonville State and Saturday's matchup at Tennessee Tech figure to be much more difficult to win now that Southeast is without its top three scorers.
"It's always tough losing people, but it's part of the game," senior center Lesley Adams said.
Southeast (6-12, 3-6) is tied for seventh in the 10-team Ohio Valley Conference midway through its 18-game OVC schedule.
It just so happens that JSU (6-13, 3-6) and Tech (8-11, 3-6) are deadlocked with Southeast. The top eight finishers qualify for the OVC tournament.
"It's a big week for us because these are two teams directly in front of us in the conference standings," Southeast coach John Ishee said.
Southeast's top scorer Jasmine Davis and third-leading scorer Lauren Sharpe have missed the past five games. The Redhawks lost four of those contests.
Davis, a freshman guard, is out for the season with a knee injury. Sharpe, a junior wing, also likely is out for the rest of the campaign with back problems.
Missing the past two games -- both losses -- has been freshman forward Bailie Roberts, Southeast's No. 2 scorer and top 3-point shooter.
Roberts has a deep bone bruise in her foot. Ishee said she is likely to miss this week's two contests but hopefully will return next week.
"I don't know for sure about this week, but I would bet she won't play," Ishee said. "But she's getting closer. Hopefully if not this week then next week."
The Redhawks have struggled offensively without their top scorers, averaging just 47 points over the past five games.
Southeast did compile its highest scoring output in an OVC contest this season Saturday against Murray State but still suffered a 90-72 home loss.
The Redhawks defeated JSU 56-53 on Jan. 4, two days after knocking off Tech 61-56. Ishee would love repeat performances.
"We were able to beat them at our place, but both were close games and that was before we had the injuries," Ishee said. "They'll be a lot tougher to beat on the road.
"Jacksonville State is playing a lot better right now and Tennessee Tech is always really tough at home."