CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri women's basketball (15-12, 8-6 OVC) clinched an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament berth with an 82-52 win over Eastern Illinois (3-23, 2-12 OVC) Saturday, Feb. 20. Southeast will play in its first OVC Tournament since 2009.
The victory ensures a winning season for the Redhawks and at least a .500 conference record with two games remaining in the season.
2015-16 will be Southeast's first winning season since the 2008-09 season (15-15, 10-8 OVC).
Bri Mitchell was one point shy of tying a career high; the junior finished with 22 points in the contest.
The Redhawks found their first lead at the when Adrianna Murphy picked off Grace Lennox and drained a layup to go ahead 7-5. The Redhawks would never trail again in the game.
The 7-0 Redhawk run continued well into the second quarter, extending to a 16-0 run, putting Southeast ahead 25-9 at the 5:04 mark of the second.
The Panthers hit their first basket almost five-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter. The basket sparked an 8-2 run to cut the Redhawk lead to 10, 27-17.
The first half ended with Southeast leading over EIU, 34-18.
Southeast scored 20 of its 34 points in the paint in the first half.
The Redhawks put up 30 points in the third quarter behind Mitchell's nine third-quarter points.
The team used three separate runs of five points or more to rack up 30 points in the frame to EIU's 20.
A 7-0 run by the Redhawks opened the fourth quarter to go up by 31 points, 69-38. An 8-0 run by the Panthers ensued to cut the lead to 23.
Southeast's 9-0 run towards the end of the game put the Redhawks up 33, their largest lead of the game, with 45 seconds to play.
The game finished with the Redhawks' second-straight 30-point home win, 82-52.
Southeast shot 47.5% (29-of-61) from the field Saturday. The Redhawks also pulled down 54 rebounds, the most they have tallied in OVC play this season.
The Redhawks will play the home finale on Wednesday, Feb. 24 against SIUE. The Redhawks will be celebrating the careers of seniors Connor King and Erin Bollmann.
The game is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. at the Show Me Center.