SEMO women win big, Saine notches a career high

Southeast's LaTrese Saine (40) lands a jumper and finished with a career-best 27 points, as SEMO defeated Ohio Valley Conference foe SIU-Edwardsville at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, 77-62, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.
Tony Capobianco ~

Southeast Missouri State 5th-year senior LaTrese Saine had her best game as a college player Thursday, finishing with 27 points and 15 rebounds, as SEMO easily dispatched SIU-Edwardsville, 77-62.

The 6-foot-4 post player filled the void left by Redhawk forward Tesia Thompson, who had to sit due to foul trouble for most of the first half.

“We were without Tesia for a long period of time and (LaTrese) stepped up,” said sixth year Redhawks coach Rekha Patterson.

Saine, already SEMO’s career blocks leader, added seven rejections against the Cougars (5-10, 2-8), and logged 36 minutes.

“I kept hearing on the sideline ‘Coach P’ telling me to lead the group,” Saine said, “and I am our oldest player (and) I’m having fun out there.”

Patterson has been pleasantly surprised with the development of Saine.

“I had no idea LaTrese was going to be what she is this season,” Patterson said. “You can’t help but be happy for a young lady like her.”

SEMO (9-5, 7-2 Ohio Valley Conference) took the lead on a Saine jumper with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter and never trailed afterward, going up by five at the end of the initial period, up by 10 at intermission, and up by 20 late in the third quarter.

Thompson returned strong after halftime, ending the contest with 16 points.

Sophie Bussard and Terri Smith also pushed into double figures, scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively.

When everything goes so well, a coach must look for what went wrong and Patterson did not disappoint in her critique.

“We turned the ball over too much,” Patterson said.

The Redhawks committed 20 turnovers compared to 15 for the Cougars.

“We didn’t have a sense of urgency at the end,” Patterson added.

The Redhawks failed to score in the last 2:38 of the contest, being outscored by SIUE, 21-18, in the final 10 minutes of play.

Patterson continues to preach the need for balance.

“If you want to compete in this league, you have to be able to score,” Patterson said, “but you also have to defend and rebound, that is if you want to finish at or near the top in our conference.”

Saxony Lutheran alum, Masyn McWilliams, is in her first season with the Cougars after having played two years at Mineral Area College. The 5-foot-9 junior guard, finished with five points, including a 3-pointer, and added three rebounds in 18 minutes of action.

SEMO has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two teams after having swept both games in the 2019-20 season.

The Redhawks are unbeaten this season, 9-0, when they score at least 60 points in a game and are 7-0 when placing four players in double figures.

“We’re nine games into conference play, we have 11 left and there’s still so much that can happen,” Patterson said.

Southeast Missouri State remains in second place behind OVC-leader UT-Martin. The Redhawks will host Eastern Illinois (7-9, 5-6) Saturday at 2 p.m.

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