Redhawks try to avenge loss vs. WIU

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seven of Southeast Missouri State's eight losses have been by at least 11 points, so it's not like the Redhawks have suffered many down-to-the-wire defeats.

The exception was Dec. 10 at Western Illinois, when the contest was tight the entire way before the Leathernecks prevailed 71-66.

Southeast (2-8) will get a chance to pay WIU (4-6) back in today's 3 p.m. nonconference game at the Show Me Center.

"We owe them one," Southeast acting coach Zac Roman said.

The Redhawks, who have lost five straight, put up solid numbers in the earlier meeting with the Leathernecks.

Southeast had a better shooting percentage than WIU while attempting and making 10 more free throws than the Leathernecks.

But the Redhawks missed all six of their 3-pointers, while WIU went 7 of 16 from beyond the arc. That area proved decisive.

"That was really the difference in the game," Roman said.

The Redhawks have struggled with their 3-point shooting, making just 26.1 percent, but they did hit 7 of 16 during their most recent game, Sunday's 75-62 loss at Bradley.

Roman hopes that trend continues, along with the Redhawks continuing to improve overall.

"I think we're getting better," Roman said. "We just have to keep working, but we're going to get there."

WIU, under first-year coach Jim Molinari -- who had considerable success in 12 seasons at Bradley and two at Northern Illinois -- won its only Summit League game so far, an upset at perennial conference power IUPUI.

The Leathernecks are led by 6-foot-5 senior wing David DuBois, who is averaging 17.3 points per game.

DuBois scored 25 points in the earlier contest against Southeast.

No other WIU player is averaging in double figures.

Junior guard David Nurse had 16 points in the earlier meeting, including making 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Freshman guard Ceola Clark added 14 points against the Redhawks.

"They're going to be a solid team. They're going to take care of the basketball," said Roman, noting that the Leathernecks had just five turnovers in the win over Southeast. "They'll play defense, they'll work for good shots."

Senior guard Kenard Moore paced the Redhawks with 20 points against WIU, giving Southeast's leading scorer 39 points in the past two games. Moore is averaging 15.7 points a contest.

"Kenard is playing well," Roman said. "We've got some individuals playing well, now we just have to get our whole group playing well together."

Roman believes that will come, and he hopes a win today starts pushing the Redhawks in the right direction.

"They're going to come in with confidence after already beating us," Roman said. "We need to come out aggressive, execute on the offensive end and get a win."

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