NOTEBOOK - from the OVC Tournament in Evansville, Indiana

Rekha Patterson is fond of communicating messages to her 14-member squad through famous movie characters such as Rocky Balboa. Talking about the 114-point barrage her Redhawks put on Belmont Friday, Patterson said: “We’re like Rocky and (Belmont) is like Ivan Drago. You know, Drago was bigger than Rocky and Belmont is taller than us.” The Bruins have four starters in excess of six feet tall while Southeast has just one, Denisha Gardener. “We just had to keep thinking, like it says in Rocky IV, ‘We will break you’.”
Prior to tipoff, the OVC introduced one starter from Belmont, followed by her counterpart from Southeast. The players met at midcourt and offered a handshake to one another. The OVC followed this practice for all five starters, one and then the other – a departure from the norm for pre-game introductions. Most of the players shook hands but Southeast’s Taelour Pruitt met her opposite number and offered a fist bump instead. Health experts are suggesting avoiding handshaking due to coronavirus fears.
Games in the NBA regularly soar over 100 points but this is rarely seen at the college level. Southeast’s 114-point performance was well beyond its 73.1 points per game average during the regular season.
Redhawks seniors Iyanna McCurdy and Carrie Shephard were recognized during the game for being on the OVC Commissioner’s “honor roll,” a notation of academic excellence. McCurdy, a senior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been sidelined all season by injury. Shephard, a graduate student, will receive her master’s degree at Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies.
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