Southeast women’s basketball team wins close one over SIU-E
This story first appeared in the Southeast Missourian
In a game that followed much the same script as their previous meeting this season, the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team improved to 2-0 this season against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville with a 63-58 win Thursday night at the Show Me Center.
The Redhawks again capitalized on turnovers, scoring 19 points off Cougar turnovers, and SIUE crashed the boards for 21 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points.
In the end, the difference came at the charity stripe, where each team had 21 attempts. The Redhawks, however, outscored the Cougars 17-12 from the line, with the five points the margin of victory.
“You have to credit your opponent when they get 21 offensive rebounds, but when we needed to make plays we did," Southeast coach Rekha Patterson said. "Our motto right now is doing whatever it takes to be 1-0 today. Every single possession that is what we are focused on."
Southeast led by 16 points in the first half, but SIUE chipped away at and took the lead in the fourth quarter, 50-49, with four and a half minutes remaining. Southeast responded with a 3-pointer by redshirt senior guard Carrie Shephard the next trip down and would never surrender the lead again.
"We just came together," Southeast sophomore guard Tesia Thompson said. "When we come together, we do good things."
The Redhawks improved to 9-9 overall and 4-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Cougars' record stood the same as the Redhawks in both categories after the loss.
The Redhawks started the game on fire on defense as the Cougars were bothered by the Southeast press and committed six turnovers in the first quarter, which led to nine points and a 20-9 lead at the end of one.
The second period started with Southeast extending its lead to the largest of the night, 27-11, following a 3-pointer from Thompson, who finished the night with 22 points and 10 rebounds -- her sixth double-double of the season.
"I think we came out with a chip on our shoulder," Thompson said. "We can't let this team beat us, especially at home."
The Cougars went to a 1-2-2 zone at the start of the second that keyed their comeback. It stymied the Redhawks a bit as they scored 24 points in the second and third quarters combined after having 20 in the first quarter alone.
"I thought we got very stagnant in our player movement," Patterson said. "Versus a zone we want to use pace and tempo and get it into the high post and the short corner. We didn't do that a couple of possessions and then we would come down [on defense] and it would be an and-1 or an offensive rebound and-1, and that started a trickle down effect."
The Cougars closed the half on an 8-0 run, capped by a 30-foot heave at the buzzer by SIUE redshirt senior Nakiah Bell that banked in to cut the lead to 33-26 at halftime.
Southeast answered with its own buzzer-beating 3 to close the third quarter by Redhawks junior forward Jocelyn Taylor to maintain a seven-point lead, 44-37, heading into the fourth quarter.
Southeast will be back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday against Eastern Illinois at the Show Me Center.