The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team struggled to collect rebounds on both offense and defense and dropped its second contest of the weekend with a 60-49 loss to Northern Colorado on Saturday.
The Redhawks' two losses -- the first was Friday to Texas State -- were after the program started the season 4-0, marking the first time the team had began with four consecutive wins in the school's Division I history. The two losses were part of the Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M.
The Redhawks were outrebounded 50-27 and were able to collect only five offensive rebounds.
"We are not going after the ball," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "We were led in our rebounding by a guard tonight. Szandra Pal had six rebounds. We get five from the preseason player of the year in the league [Missy Whitney] and we get zero from Crysta Glenn. We get one from Kaitlyn Peddie. Our post players combined to get six rebounds."
Forward Rachel Blunt also struggled with just two rebounds.
"We just got no inside play," Ishee said. "We are just not collectively doing enough good things to play with people like Texas State and Northern Colorado. When you get outrebounded 50-27 and you shoot 29 percent, it is not one single thing but a combination of a lot of things. We are just not where we need to be yet."
The Redhawks got down right from the beginning, trailing 11-4 at the 13 minute, 18 second mark of the first half. That deficit increased to 23-11 with 7 minutes remaining in the first.
After trailing 33-19 at halftime, Southeast did play better in the second half. Ishee said Northern Colorado hit 7-of-9 3-pointers while his team was playing man-to-man defense. So the coach said he changed to a zone and Southeast played better in the second, outscoring its opponent 30-27.
Offensively, Ishee said his players need to get better looks and not force up shots.
"We are settling for too many contested jump shots," Ishee said. "But in order to get open looks, you have to establish the low post. We haven't established the low post in the last two nights."
He did say one positive he could take away from this weekend was that some of his young players received valuable playing time against quality teams. He said this could help to prepare them for conference opponents.
Southeast is in action Thursday when it hosts No. 13 Baylor.
"We'll take tomorrow off as we travel and we'll get back Monday and we'll start breaking down tape, trying to figure out how to compete with them," Ishee said. "If we don't play with a more sense of urgency than we did today, it's going to be a long uphill climb. But we'll be OK. We'll figure it out."