Redhawks search for win vs. EIU

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Southeast men's basketball team looks to end six-game losing streak

The Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team's last victory came 27 days ago against Eastern Illinois.

Southeast hopes Saturday's rematch with the Panthers brings a similar result.

Southeast will look to break a six-game losing streak and boost its chances of making the Ohio Valley Conference tournament when the squads square off at 6 p.m. in Charleston, Ill.

"Our guys want to win in the worst way," said Southeast coach Dickey Nutt, whose team had Tuesday's scheduled nonconference game at future OVC member SIU-Edwardsville postponed until Monday due to severe winter weather. "We're just going to keep working."

Southeast (5-17, 4-8) is eighth in the 10-team OVC with six league games left. The top eight finishers qualify for the conference tournament.

EIU (8-13, 4-7) is seventh, just a half-game ahead of Southeast. A victory would not only lift the Redhawks above EIU in the standings but also give them the tie-breaker in case the squads wind up with the same conference record.

"Every game is important," Nutt said. "There's still a lot of the season left and we plan on making some noise."

The Redhawks made plenty of noise, mainly in the second half, against the Panthers on Jan. 8 in Cape Girardeau.

EIU led by 15 points at halftime and by 17 points early in the second half but Southeast rallied for a 78-75 victory.

The Panthers recovered to win two of three after that disheartening defeat but since then they've lost three straight, including the last two at home.

Junior guard Jeremy Granger is having a strong year for EIU, leading the way offensively with an average of 14 points per game. Granger is averaging 15.6 points in conference play. He had 17 points against Southeast earlier.

Granger is shooting a sizzling 46.7 percent from 3-point range in OVC games. He is the OVC's No. 2 free-throw shooter on the season at 92.6 percent and ranks fifth in assists.

"They've got a good team," Nutt said. "They'll be hungry for a win, just like we'll be."

Southeast faces a road-heavy schedule to end the regular season, with six of its final eight games away from the Show Me Center. The Redhawks play only one of their final six OVC contests at home.

Women at EIU

Southeast's women also are in need of a victory entering Saturday's 4 p.m. tipoff at EIU.

The Redhawks (7-14, 3-8), seventh in the OVC, have lost two straight and three of four. They also had Tuesday's nonconference game at SIU-Edwardsville postponed, with no makeup date set yet.

Defending OVC regular-season champion EIU (11-11, 6-5) is fifth.

The Panthers recently suffered four consecutive losses but have bounced back with two straight wins.

EIU beat Southeast 68-43 on Jan. 8 at the Show Me Center, pulling away late after leading by only five points midway through the second half.

Southeast's women also face a road-heavy finishing schedule, with six of their final eight games away from Cape Girardeau. The Redhawks play only two of their final seven OVC contests at home.

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