Women's Basketball Wins the 3-0 Battle
Dec. 15, 2003
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Southeast (4-3) and Northern Illinois (3-3) duked it out in the final seconds tonight in their battle to go 3-0. While NIU was fighting to extend their winning streak to 3-0, Southeast was also fighting to extend both their winning streak and home record to 3-0. The Otahkians took it to the wire, as they overtook Northern Illinois in the battle for three. Two-time OVC Newcomer of the Week, Chandra Brown, recorded her first career double-double, and the game-winning jumper with 45 seconds left, to lead Southeast past the Huskies 59-57 in non-conference action.
Northern Illinois' senior Jennifer Youngblood started off the game giving the Huskies an early 2-0 lead, but senior Yashika Sidbury answered back on the ensuing possession with the trey. This seemed to be the trend throughout most of the first half as the two battled to keep control of the lead. The lead switched possessions five times throughout the half, while the two teams tied the score three times. Southeast extended the spread to as much as five points, but the Huskies took over and extended their lead to six points at the half.
Defense was the story of the half, as the score was only 28-22 NIU. NIU's defense held Southeast to just 7-of-30 from the field, 23.3 percent, including 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. On the other side of the court, Southeast held NIU to 9-of-26 from the field, 34.6 percent, but allowed them to drain two-of-four from downtown.
Senior Kenja White came up with the first basket of the second half as she cut the Huskie lead to four, but the Otahkians weren't able to capture the lead until half way through when they went on a nine-point unanswered run. Another White jumper, this time from three-point range, claimed the lead for the hosts 39-38. But on the next possession, Youngblood scored a bucket to reclaim the lead as the final ten minutes featured five ties and five lead changes.
A layup by Huskie Jaime Wilson stretched NIU's cushion to 51-47 but SEMO countered with a Cotton free throw and a Yashika Sidbury three-pointer to level the score with four to go on the clock.
Then with 1:43 left to play, Rachel Sillar sank a free throw to give the Huskies a one-point advantage but that would be the point of the night for NIU. Brown put in a jumper to reclaim the lead for Southeast, 58-57. With time expiring NIU made a desperation foul to put senior Sarah Costello on the line with 10 seconds on the clock. Costello sealed the game for the Otahkians a split a pair of free throws.
Brown led the way for the Otahkians bringing down a career-high, 16 boards, and dropping in a game-high, 15 points. Sami Jo Cotton added another 14 points for the Otahkians to record a career-high. Cotton also brought down four offensive rebounds to re-start the offense and dished out another career-best, three assists. White had another great offensive game as she chipped in ten for the Otahkians.
For the Huskies, Youngblood recorded season-high totals and her 28th career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Otahkians finished the evening shooting 30.2 percent from the field, while the Huskies shot 35.7 percent. The Huskies also beat out Southeast on the boards by a slim margin of 45-41.
Southeast will now hit the road for a four game road series to cap off their non-conference slate. First on the agenda is Nashville, Tenn., where the Otahkians will take on the Lipscomb Lady Bison's. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. this Saturday, December 20.