Otahkians end long layoff with game vs. Missouri Baptist

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

After having not played a game for more than three weeks, Southeast Missouri State University women's coach Ed Arnzen figures a meeting with Missouri Baptist tonight will serve as a nice tuneup for Saturday's start of Ohio Valley Conference action.

The 6-3 Otahkians will take on the 4-10 Spartans, an NAIA squad, at the Show Me Center.

"It will be good to play again, and this will be a nice game for us before we start conference play," said Arnzen.

Southeast has not seen action since Dec. 8, when the Otahkians mauled Samford 90-41. The Otahkians returned to practice the night of Dec. 26 and worked out twice each of the following two days before settling into a one-practice-per-day routine.

"We had a long layoff, but I think it's worth it to be able to spend some time with your families," Arnzen said. "I think what you lose in rust you make up for in freshness and enthusiasm when you return."

Added Arnzen, "Overall, they came back in good shape, but there's no substitute for games. They were pretty sore when they came back, but that's something you go through."

Although the Otahkians don't figure to have any trouble tonight, Arnzen knows it's not wise to overlook any team. But he's hoping the Missouri Baptist game will serve as a solid springboard for Saturday's OVC opener at Eastern Illinois.

"It's good to have a game like this, against a team we should beat," said Arnzen. "It gives us an opportunity to play somebody competitively before the first conference game, which will be very important."

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