Otahks Win At Tech To Secure Home Court Advantage
Cookeville, Tenn. (February 27, 2003) - After dropping two straight games because of late free-throws, the Otahks of Southeast Missouri made 19-20 freebies tonight to win on the road at Tennessee Tech for the first time since February 17, 1996, 76-72.
The win moves Southeast to 16-10 and 10-5 in the OVC, while Tech falls to 10-16 and 5-10 in the OVC. With the win, and an EKU loss tonight at Austin Peay, Southeast now moves into second place all alone, and can finish no lower than a tie for second place and a No. 3 seed in the OVC Tournament.
Both teams started out hitting most everything they shot. Tech made the first bucket of the game, but southeast held a two-point advantage at 10-8 at the 16 minute mark. The lead for either team was no higher than three for most of the half before Southeast, after a three-pointer from junior forward Yashika Sidbury, the Otahks were up by four.
The Golden Eaglettes tied the game for the seventh time of the half with three and a half minutes left in the half. They then went on a 4-0 run before Southeast got back to within one after a bucket and a free throw from junior guard Kenja White. Tech's Jenna Baltimore made a three pointer just before the halftime buzzer to give Tech a four-point halftime advantage.
Southeast shot a blazing 50 percent in the half from the field and they made all six of their free-throws. They were 4-9 from behind the arc. Sidbury had 12 points at the half on 4-6 shooting and 3-5 from behind the arc.
Tennessee Tech jumped out to a quick eight point advantage as they were on a 15-3 run. Southeast then caught fire and went on a 15-2 run to take a five point advantage at 51-46 at the 14 minute mark. Southeast's lead got to as much as seven with 12 minutes left, but a 9-0 run for Tech got them back into the game as the Golden Eaglettes took a two-point advantage. Both teams traded baskets for the next three minutes with the game tied up for the fifth time in the half at 67 all with three minutes left. Southeast went on a 5-0 run to take the lead at 72-65. Tech would fight back to cut the lead to just one, but clutch free throws including four with under 25 seconds left from junior guard Sarah Costello secured the four-point victory for Southeast.
Southeast was led on the night by a stellar performance from White. She had 18 points on 6-9 shooting and 2-3 from behind the arc, while making all four of her free-throws. Junior forward Carina Souza had 17 points and five rebounds on 7-16 shooting. Sidbury had 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds as she made 4-8 from long range.
The Otahks shot 46 percent on the night from the field, 41 percent from behind the arc and 95 percent from the free-throw line. Tech got 21 points each from freshman Emily Christian and Jenna Baltimore.
Southeast made 7-17 from long range tonight and has now set a new team record for three's in a season with 170. They have made a three-pointer in 150 consecutive games.
With the win, Southeast will play host to a first-round OVC Tournament game this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Show Me Center. Tickets will go on sale Friday morning at 8 a.m. at the Houck Ticket Office and will be $8 for Adults and $4 for students. Season ticket holders have until noon on Monday to purchase their tickets for the game.