Redhawks roll over rival Murray State in women's basketball

Southeast Redhawks coach Rekha Patterson shown giving direction to Celeste Akoro (55) in this undated photo from earlier this season.
Jacob Wiegand ~

Southeast, the highest scoring team in the Ohio Valley Conference to-date, finished off a four-game homestand with a convincing 88-73 win over Murray State Saturday.

The Redhawks 12-5 (4-2, OVC) were down 10, 41-31, at halftime and looked flat heading into the locker room.

A tale of two halves

The second half was a different story as Southeast came out firing with a 19-0 run – and the Redhawks never trailed again.

“Our second half response was amazing,” said coach Rekha Patterson. “Our ladies played hard and tough and together.”

Four Redhawks were in double figures – Tesia Thompson with 22 points, Taelour Pruitt 20, Carrie Shephard 13 and LaTrese Saine 12.

Outstanding free throw shooting

Thompson hit two 3s and was perfect from the foul line, going 8-for-8.

“Tesia has been quietly working to get better” at the charity stripe, added the fifth-year coach, whose overall record at Southeast improves to 66-69 with the win.

“All of our players have rotating partners,” said Patterson. “We challenge them (in their pairs) to make 400 free throws every week outside of practice.”

Southeast converted 20 freebies out of 23 opportunities against the Racers.

For the season, the Redhawks – winners of three straight - are shooting 71 percent from the charity stripe.

Notable contributors

Shephard posted a double-double as she registered 10 assists for Southeast.

The redshirt senior from Steele, Mo. also had four steals to lead the Redhawks.

“Carrie stole the ball early in the third quarter,” said Patterson, “and that was a big momentum play for us.”

Also coming in for praise was sophomore Taelour Pruitt.

“T.P. went up against Macie Turley (Murray State’s leading scorer with 25),” added Patterson, “and that’s always difficult.”

“Taelour ran the point in the second half and was our on-court general.”

Southeast was sluggish in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 33 percent from the field.

After halftime, they shot 50 percent.


“I reminded our young people (at halftime) that they’re good,” said Patterson, deciding a carrot was needed in the locker room rather than a stick.

“I challenged the ladies to be who they are at both ends of the court,” added Patterson, whose Redhawks are now fourth in the 12-team OVC.

With the win, Southeast avenges a 70-62 defeat to the Racers two weeks ago in Murray, Ky.

The Redhawks have piled up 1267 points through 17 games for a 74.5 PPG average, easily best in the OVC.

The Racers (8-9, 1-5, OVC) had three players in double figures – Turley, plus Alexis Burpo and Lex Mayes, with 20 and 13 points respectively.

The contest was notable for a series of runs.

Before the scoring spree by Southeast after halftime, the Redhawks opened the game by scoring 10 unanswered points. Murray State responded with an 8-0 run in the second quarter.

Two players fouled out for the Racers – Laci Hawthorne and Macie Gibson.

Patterson believes the Show Me Center crowd, announced at 823, was the sixth man for her team.

“The energy of the fans was great,” said Patterson, “particularly at the start of the third quarter.”

“They were really into it.”

On the road again

The Redhawks now begin a four-game road trip that will take them to Illinois and Kentucky.

First up – SIU-Edwardsville, 3-14 (1-5 OVC). The Cougars lost Saturday to Jacksonville State, 53-44.

Patterson doesn’t want her players to get too confident as they get on the bus next week.

“Success is always rented,” said Patterson, “and the rent is due every day.”


Murray State18231220 – 73
Southeast20113126 – 88

Murray State (73) Macey Turley 25, Alexis Burpo 20, Lex Mayes 13, Macie Gibson 9, Laci Hawthorne 2, Cekeya Mack 2, G’Torria Swinton 2. FG 20, FT 21-23, F 20. (3-pointers: Turley 3, Burpo 3, Mayes 3, Gibson 3. Fouled out: Hawthorne, Gibson.)

Southeast (88) Tesia Thompson 22, Taelour Pruitt 20, Carrie Shephard 13, LaTrese Saine 12, Roshala Scott 8, Jessie Harshberger 5, Denisha Gardener 4, Jocelyn Taylor 4. FG 30, FT 20-23, F 24. (3-pointers: Shephard 3, Pruitt 2, Thompson 2, Harshberger. Fouled out: none.)

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