Otahks Clinch Home Court Advantage for First Round of OVC Tourney
Feb. 26, 2004
Murray, Ky. - In Murray, Ky. tonight, Murrray State made a late run to top the Otahkians 64-59 in OVC action. Although the Otahks lost, they have clinched a home game for the first round of the OVC tournament on March 2, due to the results of the other games around the league.
Starting it all off tonight was senior forward Carina Souza as she lit up for the first deuce, assisted by teammate Kenja White. The Otahks increased the spread to four points with 17:39 to go in the first period, but the Lady Racers fought back to build a 16-10 lead at the 9:34 mark.
Southeast rebuilt their steam to go on a seven-point unanswered run, tying the game at16-16, and using a Miah Shelford free-throw to capture a 17-16 lead with 6:47 remaining in the half. The squad went on to put togethers 10-6 run over the final minutes of the half featuring treys from Sami Jo Cotton and White, and lay-ups from Chandra Brown and White for the 27-22 halftime lead.
Entering the second period the teams exchanged scores over first seven minutes. Southeast managed to increase their lead to eight with a lay-up by Brandi Russia with 15:16 on the clock, but the MSU continued to pump in shots narrowing the lead. The Otahks built a 51-45 advantage with 7:27 on the clock, but fell into a three-minute scoring drought which saw MSU net 13 unanswered points. That run put the Lady Racers ahead 57-51 with 4:25 remaining.
A timeout by head coach B.J. Smith regrouped the squad and sparked a six-point unanswered drive, tying the match at 57 all with 2:26 left, but the Otahkians couldn't close the deal. The Lady Racers outscored Southeast 7-2 in the remaining minutes, as White hit a lay-up with five seconds left for the final score of 64-59 MSU.
The Otahkians were lead by White's 14-point performance. Brown added a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Yashika Sidbury extended her double-digit streak to seven games, with 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 from the line, to chip in 12.
Point-guard Sarah Costello showed why she leads the league in assists and ranks second in steals, handing out a game-high six assists and swiping a game-high four steals.
Murray State was paced by senior Megan Fuqua's game-high 24 points. Senior Stacy Holmes added 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Remington put in 16 points.
The Otahkians road woes continue as they now sit in a tie with Jacksonville State for third in the OVC with a 10-5 conference record, while Eastern Kentucky rests in the fourth with a 9-6 league record. Southeast now hits the road to face Tennessee-Martin this Saturday, March 28, in its final regular-season game, looking for a victory to claim home court advantage and gain momentum moving into the post season.