Southeast Battles Samford In OVC Tournament Semifinal Showdown This Friday
March 1, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -
#4 Samford (18-12) vs. #1 Southeast Missouri State (22-7)
Friday, March 2, 2007 - 7 p.m. Gaylord Entertainment Center (17,000) - Nashville, Tenn. Series History: SEMO leads 8-2 Last Meeting: SEMO, 66-58 (2/22/07) Ishee vs. Samford: 2-0 Radio: KZIM, 960 AM Erik Sean (P-B-P); Jess Bolen (Color)
TIP-OFF: Southeast Missouri State women's basketball heads to Nashville this Friday (March 2) for the semifinals of the 2007 O'Reilly Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The top-seeded Redhawks will battle fourth-seeded Samford in the first semifinal contest with the tip-off set for 12 noon.
SCOUTING THE REDHAWKS: Southeast brings a 22-7 record into Friday's semifinal showdown with Samford after posting a 58-54 first round victory over eighth-seeded Austin Peay Tuesday night at the Show Me Center. Sophomore guard Sonya Daugherty leads the Redhawks in scoring with an average of 13.4 points per game, while senior center Lachelle Lyles leads the team in rebounding at 17.4 boards per game to rank first among the NCAA Division I leaders. Also producing double digit scoring efforts are junior forward/center Missy Whitney (13.1 ppg), sophomore guard Tarina Nixon (11 ppg) and junior guard Ashley Lovelady (10.5 ppg).
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Samford enters Nashville as the fourth seed in the OVC Tournament with an 18-12 season record thanks to Tuesday night's 63-60 win in the first round over fifth-seeded Tennessee Tech in its final game at Siebert Hall. Junior forward Alex Munday paces the Bulldogs in scoring at 14 points per game, while ranking second in rebounds (4.6 rpg) and free-throw shooting percentage (.846). Senior forward Veronica Pike is Samford's leader in rebounds (5.1 rpg) and blocks (0.6 bpg) in addition to being second in scoring at 10.8 points a game. Mike Morris is his fifth year coaching at the Birmingham, Ala., school, while producing a 69-72 career record.
SERIES HISTORY: The Redhawks currently lead the all-time series with Samford by an 8-2 lifetime margin. Southeast has posted wins in three of the last five meetings against the Bulldogs. The two teams will meet for the second time in more than a week after the Redhawks claimed a 66-58 win in Birmingham on Feb. 22 thanks to a combined 42-point effort from sophomores Tarina Nixon (22 points) and Sonya Daugherty (20 points).
REDHAWKS IN THE OVC TOURNAMENT: Since joining the OVC in 1991-92, Southeast has tallied a record of 10-12 in Ohio Valley Conference tournament play. The Redhawks, making their 10th consecutive tournament appearance, are entering this year's tournament as the No. 1 seed for the first time. Last season, Southeast produced wins over Murray State, Samford and Tennessee Tech to claim its first-ever OVC tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth.
LYLES DOUBLES UP ON THE OPPOSITION: Senior Lachelle Lyles has been on a team for Southeast over the past three weeks on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. The 6-2 native of Chicago, Ill., has averaged 10.2 points and 20 rebounds a contest in the Redhawks' last five games which includes efforts against Eastern Illinois, Tennessee-Martin and Samford.
LOVELADY PLAYS BIG IN OVC FIRST ROUND WIN: After averaging 5.4 points per game in the final five regular-season contests, junior Ashley Lovelady turned Tuesday's OVC Tournament first-round home game against Austin Peay into another breakout performance at the Show Me Center. Lovelady, a junior college transfer from Moberly Area CC, tallied a game-high 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting against the Lady Govs, while adding six rebounds and several key shots down the stretch.
UP NEXT: With a win, the Redhawks will advance to the championship game of OVC Tournament on Saturday (March 3), where they will face the winner of the other semifinal between second-seeded Murray State and sixth-seeded Tennessee-Martin. The game's start time is 3 p.m., and will be shown via tape delay on CSTV.