Sidbury's Three-Pointer Lifts Otahkians Over EIU
Feb. 10, 2004
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - With 1:36 on the clock senior forward Yashika Sidbury found herself at the free throw stripe with her team down by one, 73-74. She sunk both shots, but Eastern Illinois' Pam O'Connor answered back with two of her own, giving EIU the two point advantage with one minute to go. Then it was Sidbury to the rescue again as she sank a three-pointer with 15 seconds left to give Southeast the lead. EIU's Megan Sparks' last second three-point attempt fell short as SEMO went on to record the 77-76 victory.
Southeast (12-10, 7-4 OVC) hit the first two buckets but Eastern Illinois (6-16, 3-8 OVC) used a 7-0 run to take a 14-10 lead early in the first half. Junior guard Sami Jo Cotton hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Otahkians the 20-16 lead with 9:01 remaining, but the Panthers went on a 23-7 run to close out the half. EIU headed to the lockers with a 39-27 advantage.
Sidbury and Cotton each hit a three-pointer to open the second period of play, while EIU did not score a field goal for the next seven minutes. The Otahks used a 21-10 run, capped off by a Jessica Aebi three-pointer, for a 59-58 lead just under the eight-minute mark.
Both teams then traded baskets, as the final eight minutes of the game featured six ties and nine lead changes. The Otahkians grabbed the largest lead in the final minutes, ahead four points and held EIU without a basket for the final 3:29.
Eastern made only seven field goals in the second half but free throws kept them alive. The Panthers sank 22-of-23 over the final 20 minutes, 41-of-45 (91 percent) overall.
For the second straight game Southeast edged out their opponent by one rebound. The squad was out shot 53-to-38 by the 'Cats' but brought down 16 offensive rebounds to enjoy 18 second-chance points to EIU's zero to make up for the difference. The squad's full-court pressure caused 24 EIU turnovers and held their opponent to only one three-pointer.
Cotton led the Otahks with 20 points, drilling a career-best six three-pointers, while Sidbury netted 16. Rounding out the Otahkian double-digit scorers was Kenja White with 12. Sarah Costello led the squad is assists, capturing ten of the squad's 17 on the evening for a new season-best.
For EIU, O'Connor scored a game-high 23 points. Sparks netted 22 points, shooting 12-of-12 from the free throw line and bringing down a game-high 11 boards to record the double-double.
Southeast Missouri will be back in action on Saturday against Tennessee State at 5:00 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn.