Division lead within reach, but huge road test awaits
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team hits the road for its final road game of the regular season to take on Southeast Missouri Monday night in a pivotal game in Ohio Valley Conference action. The Golden Eagles need to win their final three games prior to Tournament play to clinch the top seed in the East Division.
Tennessee Tech (15-11, 9-4 OVC) vs. Southeast Missouri (10-17, 4-10 OVC)
Monday, Feb. 25, 2013
6:30 p.m. CT
Show Me Center - Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Setting the Stage
In its last outing, Tech fell to the mercy of the Eastern Kentucky. It was the teams first road loss since Eastern Illinois Jan. 14. The Golden Eagles enter the Show Me Center with a 5-2 conference record on the road, but SEMO is just 3-4 at home against OVC opponents.
The OVC tournament is just around the corner, and with this game Tech could all but guarantee a top seed, but a win for SEMO could get them in the tournament. It's also Senior Night for the Redhawks so they will come full throttle in seasrch for a tournament bid.
This will be the 48th meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Redhawks. The two teams first met in 1991 and Tech opened the series with a 5-0 stretch. Until the 2002-03 season, the Redhawks had only downed the Purple and Gold four out of 25 pairings. From 2002-2010, SEMO took over the series winning 14 out of 18 match-ups.
Tech is currently on a streak of four wins agains the Redhawks, including last seasons 60-57 overtime victory in the Eblen Center.
A Glance at the Golden Eagles
The Golden Eagles continue to lead the OVC in field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage thanks to precision shooting by Tech's top scorers. Tech averages a 42.4 clip from the floor and 37.8 percent from long range.
The Golden Eagles hold two of the top five three-point shooters in the conference. Seniors Kellie Cook and Lashay Davis average 40 percent from behind the arc. Davis averages 1.8 three's per game, and has made three or more three-pointers eight different times this season, including five conference games. The Golden Eagles are 10-2 when the duo combines for at least four three's.
Sophomore Diamond Henderson averages a third best 47.7 percentage in the OVC, averaging 16.3 points per game, and 17.1 against conference opponents. Senior point guard Jala Harris continues to lead the charge with an assists to turnover ration of 1.7 averaging 4.1 assists per game. Harris connects for 14.2 points per game in the OVC, while true sophomore T'Keyah Williams is just shy of averaging a double-double in the past five games with 11.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Thanks to a recent surge of dominance on the boards by Williams, Tech averages 35.2 rebounds per game, and is holding opponents to less than 40. Williams has had 39 points and 24 rebounds in the past three games, with two double-doubles in the past four.
As a team, the Golden Eagles average 66.3 points, a .424 field goal percentage, 6.3 three-pointers, 35.2 rebounds, 12.5 assists, 7.5 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.
A Look at the Redhawks
The Redhawks are in the midst of a two-game losing streak, winning just 2 of their past 11 games. The West Division team has only four conference oppoennts, but downed Murray State at home, a team that beat Tech 68-52 just two weeks later.
SEMO is led by Ballie Roberts who averages 11.0 points per game and the teams top rebounder is Patricia Mack with 9.4 boards per game.
In SEMO's most recent outing, the Redhawks lost to Jacksonville State 60-57. The Redhawks were led by Allyson Bradshaw with 15 points, well above the sophomore's 8.5 season average.
As a team, the Redhawks average 59.6 points, a .375 field goal percentage, 5.7 three-pointers, 38.4 rebounds, 13.9 assists, 6.0 steals and 2.6 blocks per game.