Big week begins with Tenn. Tech

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

It's shaping up as a huge week for Southeast Missouri State University's Otahkians.

Southeast (8-3 overall, 1-0 Ohio Valley Conference) will begin a four-game homestand tonight, three of those against some of the conference's top teams.

The homestand starts with a bang as perennial league powerhouse Tennessee Tech (8-5, 1-1) visits the Show Me Center tonight.

Eastern Kentucky (10-3, 2-0) comes to town Thursday, followed by a Saturday visit from Morehead State (11-2, 1-1).

"This is a really big week for us," said Southeast coach Ed Arnzen. "We'll take them one at a time and that starts with Tech, the best."

Tech's Golden Eaglettes have been the OVC's dominant women's program, winning or sharing nine of the past 12 regular-season championships, including the last four.

The Eaglettes lost just one regular-season conference game last season and are heavy preseason favorites to repeat. They already have lost to Eastern Kentucky, another perennial OVC power.

Tech is led by 6-foot senior center Janet Holt, the two-time OVC Player of the Year who is favored to win that award again this season. Holt is the conference's leading scorer (24.3 ppg) and No. 2 rebounder (8.5 rpg).

The Eaglettes also have the OVC's top 3-pointer shooter in Jennifer Wilhelm (51.4 percent on 18 of 35). As a team, Tech is No. 2 in 3-point shooting (39.3 percent), behind top-ranked Southeast (42.3 percent).

"They have the best player in the conference in Holt and they have great 3-point shooters," said Arnzen. "Holt will get hers but we have to control the other players somewhat."

With no men's game tonight, Arnzen is making a special plea for Southeast fans of either basketball team to support the Otahkians.

"The more fan support we can get the better because this is going to be a very big challenge for us," Arnzen said.

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