Otahkians face OVC power E. Kentucky

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Southeast Missouri State University's Otahkians were unable to knock off one Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse Tuesday night.

Today the Otahkians (8-4,1-1 OVC) will get a crack at another league heavyweight when first-place Eastern Kentucky (10-3, 2-0) pays a visit to the Show Me Center.

After falling just short against visiting Tennessee Tech Tuesday, Southeast coach Ed Arnzen knows a win over Eastern Kentucky would certainly serve the Otahkians well. Tennessee Tech and EKU were picked to finish one-two in the OVC's preseason poll.

"You hate to say it's a must win this early, but it's obviously a big game," said Arnzen, whose squad lost 80-77 to Tennessee Tech. "Eastern Kentucky hasn't gotten beat yet and it would be nice to give them their first loss."

It definitely won't be easy as EKU will bring the OVC's highest-scoring team to town; the Lady Colonels average 79.4 points per game. But the Otahkians will counter with the conference's stingiest defense as they allow just 64.8 points a contest.

"They'll pressure a lot and try to outscore you," Arnzen said. "They're a very good ballclub."

The Lady Colonels, who have already posted an impressive victory over Tennessee Tech, have a balanced offensive attack, featuring four double-figure scorers in sophomore guard Katie Kelly (12.5 ppg), junior guard Theresa McNair (11.5 ppg), senior forward Charlotte Sizemore (11.0 ppg) and senior guard Zoey Artist (10.0 ppg).

McNair leads the OVC in field-goal shooting at a sizzling 61.1 percent.

Southeast's offense is led by junior forward Lori Chase (15.1 ppg) and senior guard Veronica Benson (13.3 ppg).

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