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Rachel Blunt and the Redhawks open WNIT play with Thursday's first round contest at Evansville (Patrick Clark)
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Women's Basketball Travels To Evansville for WNIT First Round Game

March 19, 2008

Southeast-Evansville (2008 WNIT First Round) Notes Get Acrobat Reader


TIP-OFF: Southeast Missouri State women's basketball opens play of the 2008 Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Thursday night with a first round contest against Evansville at Southern Indiana's PAC Arena with a start time of 7:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the radio at ESPN/KGIR 1220 AM where Todd Bonacki and Corey Miggins will call the action.

SCOUTING THE REDHAWKS: Southeast heads into this week's action with a record of 23-8 on the year. The Redhawks have been idle since March 7 when they fell to Eastern Illinois by a score of 52-40 in the semifinals of the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in Nashville. Senior forward/center Missy Whitney currently leads Southeast with 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game. Junior guard/forward Sonya Daugherty is second on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg), assists (1.9 apg) and steals (1.9 spg).

SCOUTING THE PURPLE ACES: Evansville enters the WNIT sporting a 20-11 season ledger after capturing the Missouri Valley Conference's automatic berth into the tournament by virtue of capturing a share of the MVC regular-season crown and earning a No. 2 seed in last week's MVC Tournament, held in St. Charles, Mo. The Purple Aces advanced to the semifinals of the tournament before dropping a 46-41 decision to eventual runner-up Drake. UE has three players scoring double figures, led by senior guard/forward Rebekah Parker's 14.4 points and 3.5 assists per game while ranking second on the team in rebounds with an average of 5.9 boards a game. Junior center Shannon Novosel paces the Purple Aces with an average of 6.1 caroms and 1.2 blocks per contest and in addition to ranking second on the squad at 11 points per game. Tricia Cullop is currently in her eighth season as the Purple Aces' head coach and has tallied a 122-109 career record. Cullop was named the 2008 MVC Coach of the Year this season after leading UE to a piece of its first-ever MVC regular-season title following last year's 19-12 record.

SERIES HISTORY: Southeast has posted a 4-2 advantage in the lifetime series with Evansville. Thursday's game will be the first meeting between the two teams in 14 years as the Redhawks captured the last meeting between the two teams with by a score of 88-61 on Jan. 3, 1994 at the Show Me Center. In games played at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, the Purple Aces have posted a 2-1 mark that include a 65-63 victory on Nov. 26, 1991.

COMMON GROUND: Southeast and Evansville have faced two common opponents this season in OVC members Morehead State and Tennessee Tech. The Redhawks claimed season sweeps over the Eagles and the Golden Eagles, while the Aces posted a victory record against both squads.

SOUTHEAST IN THE WNIT: This will be the first-ever appearance for Southeast in the 11-year history of the current format of the WNIT and the sixth OVC school to play in the tournament. The OVC has produced a combined 3-5 record in the WNIT during this stretch.

20-WIN PICKUP: Southeast has posted a 20-win season for the fourth consecutive year and it is looking to equal the school's Division I record for wins with 24 entering Thursday's contest. Last year, the Redhawks posted a 24-8 mark which preceded two 22-win campaigns in 2005 and 2006.

UP NEXT: With a win, the Redhawks will travel to Big 12 member Kansas on Monday, March 24 in a WNIT second round game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse with a time to be determined.


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