Women looking to carry momentum on the road

Mark Shanahan, Women's Basketball Reporter

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The Eastern women’s basketball team will have to carry over the momentum from the win over Tennessee-Martin on Saturday when they travel to Southeast Missouri for another Ohio Valley Conference showdown.

The Panthers were able to get back into the win column with an overtime victory over Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday night.

They were powered by freshman Allison Van Dyke, who scored a career-high 23 points and was 5-for-9 from beyond the arc.

The win over Tennessee-Martin kept the postseason chances alive, but they will have to keep on winning if they would like to get to the seventh or eighth spot in the OVC tournament.

With an overall record of 6-13 and 2-5 in the OVC, the Panthers are still two spots from the No. 8 seed.

Sophomore forward Halle Stull said after the game against Tennessee-Martin that the momentum from the win is big for this team.

“The momentum is extremely important, I know that SEMO is a good team and we have to come out on fire and ready to play because if we play like we did tonight, everyone playing hard and doing the right things, there’s no one in the conference that I believe can stop us,” Stull said.

Southeast Missouri is the No. 8 seed right now with a record of 8-11 overall and 2-4 in the OVC.

The Redhawks just lost a close one to Southern Illinois Edwardsville 70-69 on Wednesday night.

The two conference wins for the Redhawks this season came against Tennessee State and Tennessee-Martin.

Southeast Missouri has three leading scorers that average double-digits each time out in Olivia Hackmann, Bri Mitchell and Hannah Noe.

Hackmann is averaging 15.8 points per game along with a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game.

Mitchell is averaging 13.7 points per game and plays the most minutes.

Noe averages 11.5 points per game and has made the most 3-pointers on the team.

Eastern coach Debbie Black recognized that the Redhawks are a well-rounded team.

“This is a team where they have a number of players that can beat you,” Black said after Wednesday night’s game. “That’s always a bigger threat. I think SEMO is a team that is going to be more well-rounded so were going to have to mix our defense like we’ve been doing.”

Eastern has struggled away from Lantz Arena this year with a 2-8 record on the road. The teams split the home and home series last year with each team winning on its own home court.

The Panthers won 64-59 in the first meeting, but Southeast Missouri got the best of them the next time out with a 82-52 win.

Southeast Missouri has the best 3-point field goal percentage in the OVC right now shooting .367 percent, and they also are the best in offensive rebounding and rebounding percentage. The Redhawks are averaging 16.2 offensive rebounds per game.

Senior Erica Brown will have to help in that area for the Panther’s, she is coming off of a 15-rebound performance last time out.

The game is set to start at 2 p.m. at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. on Saturday.

Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]