College Basketball Roundup -- March 7

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Published on March 7 2013 11:35 am
Last Updated on March 7 2013 11:35 am
Written by Millie Lange

Southeast Missouri Men 78, Eastern Illinois 68

NASHVILLE – Southeast Missouri shot 63 percent in the opening half as the Redhawks beat Eastern Illinois, 78-68, Wednesday night in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

EIU ends its season at 11-21 overall.  SEMO is 17-15 and will play No. 3 seed Eastern Kentucky on Thursday night.

Both teams started off fast with EIU leading 12-11 at the first media timeout.  SEMO then led 16-12 off a 3-pointer by Marland Smith and jumped by Nick Niemczyk.  SEMO hit 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half.

EIU then regained the lead as Alex Austin hit five straight free throws to put EIU up 17-16 at 10:57.  Austin had nine first half points to lead EIU and 17 for the game.

SEMO responded with 3-pointers by Smith and Corey Wilford to go back in front.  Austin hit a pair of free throws and a runner in the lane to cut the Redhawks advantage to 22-21 at 7:26.

Tyler Stone scored eight of his 12 first half points in the final 7:16 as SEMO closed the half outscoring EIU 20-8.  Stone had two baskets on dunks following steals as SEMO had five first half steals.

SEMO shot 63 percent in the first half to lead 42-29 at the break.

Josh Piper hit back-to-back shots to open the second half as the Panthers cut the Redhawks lead to ten at 43-33.  Piper led EIU with 19 points.

SIUE Women 73,  Tennessee State 61

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE women's basketball made a successful Ohio Valley Conference Tournament debut Wednesday with a 73-61 triumph over Tennessee State at Municipal Auditorium.
 
Raven Berry led all players with 19 points and just missed her seventh straight double-double, finishing with nine rebounds. Berry shot 6 of 9 from the field, converted 7 of 9 from the free throw line, and added a career-high four blocks. Teutopolis High School graduate Jessie Wendt connected on two of four from the field for four points for the winners and had two assists, two blocks and one steal.
 
The Cougars, 16-13, advance to play third-seeded Belmont in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Game time Thursday is 2 p.m. The game will be covered on 88.7 FM WSIE and the siuecougarnetwork.com. Video is available on OVCDigitalNetwork.com.
 
Wednesday's win was SIUE's first in tournament play as a member of the OVC. It also was SIUE's first victory during the postseason since the 2000-2001 season.
 
"It's a historic win, but the job is not over yet," said Berry. "We knew coming in that we made history just by making the tournament. We made history again by winning the first game. We have another history to make tomorrow. It's day by day."
 
SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher watched her team play tight defense on Tennessee State, which ended its season with a 13-15 record. The Tigers shot 31 percent from the field (18-58).
 
"Hats off to Tennessee State," said Buscher. "Both times we've played them it's been a tough game. I'm really proud of our players for sticking with things, staying together, and finishing the game."
 
The Cougars shot 47.3 percent from the field (26-55). CoCo Moore shot 5 of 10 from the field and finished with 13 points. Jazmin Hill's two 3-pointers tied Teri Evans (1992-95) for second all-time in 3-pointers as she added 10 points for SIUE.
 
The top rebounding team in the OVC, SIUE only won the rebounding battle 40-38. However, SIUE took clear advantage of Tennessee State turnovers. The Tigers turned the ball over 23 times, and SIUE capitalized on it for 26 points.

EIU Women Set For Tourney Opener

CHARLESTON, Ill. – The Panther women’s basketball team opens Ohio Valley Conference Tournament action on Friday, March 8 at noon in the semifinal round. EIU earned the No. 1 seed by capturing the OVC Regular-Season Championship.

The Opening Tip
After capturing the school’s second regular-season conference title in the last four years, the Panther women’s basketball team travels to the Music City for the OVC Tournament on March 6-9. Under the direction of first-year head coach Lee Buchan, the Panthers posted a 12-4 conference record to capture the No. 1 seed and earn a double-bye into the tournament’s semifinal round.

The Panthers are led by All-OVC selections Mariah King and Ta’Kenya Nixon who combine to average 28.3 points per game. EIU takes the conference’s second-highest scoring offense (68.9 ppg) into tournament action this weekend. All told, the Panther offense is balanced as seven players average more than six points per game.

EIU’s opponent for Friday’s semifinal matchup will be No. 4 UT Martin, No. 5 Eastern Kentucky or No. 8 Murray State. The Panthers went 6-4 during the regular season against OVC Tournament participants.

Buchanan Named OVC Coach of the Year
EIU head women’s basketball coach Lee Buchanan was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year as selected by head coaches and sports information directors on Tuesday, March 5.

Buchanan, in his first year as the head coach of the Panthers, led the squad to its second conference title in the last four seasons. EIU shares the conference title with Tennessee Tech who captured the east division as both squads finished the conference season with identical 12-4 records.

In 20 seasons as a head coach, Buchanan has been named coach of the year six times while capturing a total of seven regular-season championships. He has 375 career victories with head coaching stints at Brescia University (1986-98), Francis Marion (1998-2002) and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (2003-07).