By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Lady Colonels (12-7, 6-2 OVC) used a big run in each half to blowout Southeast Missouri State (7-14, 3-5 OVC), 75-56, Saturday in McBrayer Arena.
EKU finished off the first half with a 17-2 run to pull out to a 36-21 halftime advantage.
A 19-2 run over a six-minute stretch mid-way through the second half put the Lady Colonels on top 66-43 with four minutes remaining.
The lead grew to as many as 24 points before SEMO scored the game’s final five points.
“I felt like we just believed in each other. They made their runs and we maintained our composure and we came out with a great win against a good SEMO team,” Colonels coach Chrissy Roberts said.
Miranda Maples had a huge game, finishing with her first career double-double, 20 points and 10 rebounds. She was 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the three point line.
Maples, who played her best game as a Lady Colonel, said she felt like it was coming after her performance Monday at Tennessee State.
“I knew I came off a pretty good game against Tennessee State the other night. I said to help my team more I’ve got to shoot more. I’ve got to look for open players and draw the defense and get other people open,” Maples said. “We all know that Marie is our go-to player so everyone is going to focus on her, so it’s time for other people to start making plays.”
Marie Carpenter added 19 points and four assists, and freshman Michaela Hunter was also in double figures with 10 points. She also had four rebounds, six assists and a steal.
EKU jumped out to a quick 9-1 lead only to see the Redhawks storm back to take the lead 12-11.
Carpenter gave the Lady Colonels the lead for good with a three pointer which began the 17-2 run to end the half.
The Redhawks opened the second half scoring the first seven points to get to within eight, 36-28.
A three pointer by Connor King with 15:59 remaining got the Redhawks to within 38-33.
But, EKU quickly responded.
Baskets by Pilar Walker and Carpenter began a 12-2 spurt by the Lady Colonels which was spurred by their defense which created several turnovers during the stretch.
The Redhawks made one more run to get to within 10 at 53-43, but back-to-back three pointers by Carpenter ignited the 9-2 run that put the game out of reach.
Freshman Nicole Bowers came off the bench to score seven points, Shelly Harper had six points and five rebounds, Mariah Massengill had five points and three assists, Walker had four points and two assists, Cierra Drake had three points and three rebounds.
Jasmine Stafford finished the game with only one point, but she pulled down eight rebounds, dished out three assists and picked up a steal.
Roberts said she likes the production she is getting from her bench right now and it will pay dividends down the stretch.
“Our bench players gave us some very quality minutes, across the board, and that’s what we are going to continue to need as we progress through the season,” Roberts said. “That keeps everybody fresh and you will be able to see, hopefully, our offense take another step to that next level as a result.”
The Lady Colonels return to action on Monday when they host UT-Martin.