JSU overtakes Redhawks in closing seconds

Friday, January 28, 2011
Southeast Missouri State's Katie Norman looks to shoot as Jacksonville State's Destiny Lane defends during the second half Thursday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

The Gamecocks won 51-49 for their first victory at the Show Me Center

The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team never had lost to Jacksonville State in Cape Girardeau.

That streak ended Thursday, thanks to a late play from all-Ohio Valley Conference junior forward Brittany Wiley.

Wiley's follow shot with seven seconds left erased a one-point deficit and lifted JSU to a 51-49 victory.

"It's a great thing we accomplished tonight," said Wiley after JSU posted its first win in eight visits to the Show Me Center. "We didn't know anything about it until coach [Annette Watts] told us before the game."

JSU also swept the season series from Southeast for the first time as the Gamecocks beat Southeast 62-48 on Dec. 19 in Jacksonville, Ala.

Before this year, Southeast had defeated JSU 12 straight times, the Redhawks' lone loss coming during the 2003-04 season that marked the Gamecocks' first OVC campaign.

The Gamecocks improved to 8-13 overall and 5-5 in OVC play. They are tied for fifth in the 10-team league while Southeast (7-13, 3-7) remained seventh.

"It's a tough pill to swallow," Southeast coach John Ishee said.

Little separated the squads in a back-and-forth affair that featured 13 lead changes and 10 ties. JSU's biggest lead was six points and Southeast's largest advantage was four points.

Sophomore center Courtney Shiffer hit 1 of 2 free throws with 27 seconds left to break the final tie and put Southeast ahead 49-48.

Then came the pivotal sequence.

JSU missed a shot but was able to come up with three consecutive offensive rebounds. The Gamecocks misfired after the first two but not the third as Wiley's short jumper in the lane put JSU up 50-49.

"I was glad all my teammates were there to get the offensive rebounds. It was just me getting the last one," Wiley said. "I didn't know how much time was left. I knew I had to go back up."

"We just couldn't get the rebound and she hit the shot," Southeast sophomore forward Brittany Harriel said.

Southeast pushed the ball back up the court quickly and had a fast-break chance but lost the ball out of bounds with 0.9 seconds remaining.

The Redhawks were called for an intentional foul before JSU inbounded. The Gamecocks made 1 of 2 free throws and retained possession. They then inbounded to run out the clock.

"You can't give any team that many shots and offensive rebounds to beat you," Ishee said. "You can't give their best player an offensive rebound to win the game. If we get the rebound, we probably win."

But Ishee pointed to Southeast's 20 turnovers as the difference in the game. Many of those came after the Redhawks broke JSU's pressure and had an advantage to score.

"What really beat us was turnovers," Ishee said. "We had numerous opportunities, two-on-one, three-on-two, to get layups or get fouled, but we turned the ball over.

"Credit Jacksonville State. They're very athletic. They had something to do with us turning it over 20 times."

Sophomore guard Erika Lane, who recently returned from an injury that forced her to miss several weeks, led Southeast with a season-high 10 points.

"Erika gave us a lot of energy off the bench. I thought she competed hard," Ishee said. "I thought she gave us a chance to win."

Sophomore guard Shelah Fields scored nine points for the Redhawks while sophomore forward Katie Norman added eight points. Harriel pulled down 10 rebounds.

Junior guard Destiny Lane paced JSU with 15 points. Wiley added 12.

Southeast trailed 21-20 at halftime. The final period contained 12 lead changes and eight ties.

The Redhawks grabbed their biggest advantage at 46-42 with just under four minutes left but three straight turnovers helped JSU go ahead 48-46.

"Playing a little bit too fast, not thinking," sophomore guard Jasmine Davis said of the turnovers.

Southeast was able to take one more lead before Wiley's late heroics.

"We have to take every possession like it's the last one," Harriel said. "If we had converted earlier, it wouldn't have come down to that [last play]."

The Redhawks, shorthanded already, had only nine available players after junior guard Karley Evans was recently diagnosed with mononucleosis. Ishee fears she could miss the rest of the season.

Southeast closes out its two-game homestand at 4 p.m. Saturday against OVC-leading Tennessee Tech (15-4, 9-1) in the "Show-Me Sellout" contest. It is also blackout night, with fans encouraged to wear black.

Tech beat visiting Southeast 62-48 on Dec. 21.

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