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Redhawks Kick-off 2006 with a 84-78 win over Lady Colonels

Jan. 2, 2006

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Monday, January 2, 2006) No one knows what the Redhawks women's basketball program's New Years Resolution was but it probably had something about playing to the level that they were expected to play at in the preseason as they looked for their first OVC Championship. That team appeared on the court of the Show Me Center Monday evening as they opened up the 2006 with a 84-78 win over a very scrappy Eastern Kentucky team that gave the Redhawks a little bit of revenge after losing to the Lady Colonels twice last season including a double overtime loss in the OVC Title game.

The Redhawks (6-6, 3-2) opened up the game on a tear as they jumped ahead 24-10 in the first ten minutes of the opening half. Freshman guard Tarina Nixon (Gilbert, AZ/Highland) sparked the run as she scored 11 points in the first three and a half minutes.

The Lady Colonels (3-9, 3-2 OVC) then used a 19-6 run to cut the Redhawks lead to one as Fatai Hala'api'api couldn't be stopped by the Redhawks post defenders as she poured in eight during the Lady Colonels run.

Senior Natalie Purcell (Auckland, New Zealand/Hutchinson CC) then nine points in the final 1:05 of the half including a buzzer beating jumper to give the Redhawks a 42-37 lead.

At the midpoint mark the Redhawks had three players in double figures with Purcell and Nixon each with 11 points and Tatiana Conceicao (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Western Nebraska CC) with 10 points.

The Lady Colonels were sparked by hot first half three-point shooting as they went 6-7 from beyond the arc and Hala'api'api whoe scored 15 points.

In the second-half the Redhawks extended their lead to 10 points but a 12-4 Lady Colonels run again cut the lead to one, 52-51.

Hala'api'api would later tie the game for the 53-53 on a lay-up at the 10:52 mark.

The Redhawks would keep the Lady Colonels from grabbing the lead until yet another lay-up Hala'api'api at the 7:02 mark gave the Lady Colonels their first lead of the game 67-66.

Conceicao would answer from outside as she keyed a 12-3 Redhawks run with a jumper and two three-pointers, the last with 1:44 left to give the Redhawks a comfortable eight point lead.

Despite being outshot from the field in the second half, 50-percent to 34-percent, the Redhawks used clutch free throw shooting as they made 18-25 from the charity stripe in the second half.

The Lady Colenels shot 49-percent from the field including 60-percent from three-point range but only managed 41-percent from the free throw line as they made only 5-12 attempts.

The Redhawks made five times as many free throws as they shot 71-percent (25-35).

Another factor for the Redhawks win was the rebounding as the Redhawks recorded 51 boards, including 25 offensive and holding the Lady Colonels to 30 rebounds.

Conceicao matched her career highs in points with 30 and rebounds with 12 as she finished with her second double-double of the season and seventh of her career. She went 9-16 from the field including 2-3 from three-point range.

Six of her 12 boards came on the offensive end. She also added three assists and tied her career-high with three block shots.

It was her third-straight game she had scored 20 or more points in a game and the seventh such game of the season.

Nixon finished with 18 points on 5-8 shooting. She was perfect from beyond the arc making all three of her attempts. She also recorded four rebounds.

Purcell snapped out of a recent scoring slump with 14 points. She was 5-10 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds.

Lachelle Lyles (Chicago, IL/Shelton State CC) grabbed 10 rebounds in 12 minutes of work. Seven of those rebounds came on the offensive glass.

Wanika Owsley (Indianapolis, IN/Southeastern Illinois CC) led the team with five assists.

Freshman Chytearra Kintchen (Ft. Lauderdale, FL/Deerfield Beach) provided a spark off the bench as she finished with four key first half points in only two minutes of action.

The Lady Colonels were led by Hala'api'api with 23 points on 10-15 shooting. Laura Shelton added 15 points to round out the double-digit scorers.

The Redhawks look to keep their two-game OVC winning streak alive as they again hit the road for two games starting with Eastern Illinois on Thursday, January 5 in Lantz Arena at 5:15 p.m. Follow the action on ESPN/ 1220 KGIR or live audio webstream on gosoutheast.com.

 
 

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