Otahkians Fall In OVC Championship
March 8, 2003
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Brooke Armistead scored 27 points as Austin Peay defeated Southeast Missouri 85-61 Saturday afternoon to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship for a third consecutive year.
The Lady Govs (27-3) won the league's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament with their 22nd straight victory, the third-best streak in the nation. They did it with the second-largest margin of victory in the OVC championship game.
Gerlonda Hardin had 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Paige Smith and Ashley Haynes each added 11 points. Armistead, the league's player of the year, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Southeast Missouri (19-11) finished second to Austin Peay in the regular season but lost to the Lady Govs for a third time this season. It was close only through the first few minutes as Southeast Missouri led for the last time at 9-6.
Armistead hit a 3-pointer to tie it, and then the closest Southeast Missouri would get was at 11-all. Armistead keyed an 11-2 run as the Lady Govs took control.
Southeast Missouri managed to pull within one twice before halftime, the last at 26-25 on a layup by Yashika Sidbury. Austin Peay scored seven unanswered points and led 32-25 at halftime.
The Lady Govs added to their lead in the second half, and Southeast Missouri coach B.J. Smith was ejected with 9:53 to go.
Kenja White finished with 19 points for Southeast Missouri, while Souza added 12 and Chase had 11.
With the 11 points, Chase moved over 1,500 in her career at 1,501. The season ends early, but is easilly one of the most successful at the Division I level for Southeast and is a sign of good times ahead.