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Southeast women's basketball team gets first taste of the road
Missouri State used a 31-6 run in the first half to pull away
The young Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team came down to earth in a big way Saturday.
Riding high after Monday's upset win over Southern Mississippi, the Redhawks suffered their first loss, 72-46 to Missouri State in Springfield, Mo.
Southeast, playing its first road game and featuring nine freshmen on its 13-player roster, fell to 2-1. The Bears are also 2-1.
"We looked like freshmen that hadn't been on the road before," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "But it's a learning experience. It's just one game."
The Redhawks hung tough in the early going as there were three lead changes and three ties.
But MSU used a 31-6 scoring spurt late in the first half to build a 41-22 halftime advantage and bury the Redhawks, who were held scoreless for more than seven minutes during the run.
Southeast had just one field goal over the final 9:54 of the opening half.
Melissa Busby's 3-pointer with 10 minutes, 42 seconds left in the period broke a 12-12 tie and gave MSU the lead for good.
The Bears never let Southeast challenge in the second half and led by as many as 33 points in the late going.
"The first 10 minutes it was back and forth," Ishee said. "They went on a big run, we got into a big hole and it's tough to come back."
Junior wing Lauren Sharpe, one of only four returning Southeast players from last season, was the Redhawks' lone double-figure scorer with 14 points. She hit 3 of 8 from 3-point range.
Sophomore point guard Bianca Beck added eight points while senior center Lesley Adams pulled down 10 rebounds.
Freshman guard Jasmine Davis scored just three points after she had been Southeast's leading scorer in the first two games with a total of 30 points.
Sophomore guard Casey Garrison, last season's Missouri Valley Conference freshman of the year, paced the Bears with 19 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
Garrison had a strong all-around performance as she added seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Southeast shot just 32.7 percent for the game compared to 46.3 percent for MSU. The Bears also had a big advantage from the free-throw line, making 16 of 26 compared to 5 of 10 for the Redhawks.
Ishee felt a key was MSU's 43-30 rebounding advantage that featured a 17-11 edge on the offensive glass. Southeast also was hurt by 24 turnovers. The Bears had 19 turnovers.
"They just physically beat us on the boards. We just didn't rebound the basketball," Ishee said. "And we had 24 turnovers against a team that didn't press.
"Missouri State is very big, very physical. I think they'll be good and I think they'll be real good at home. They have great fan support. They had almost 4,000 here."
The announced attendance was 3,362.
Southeast plays another road game against a Missouri Valley Conference squad Tuesday when it visits Indiana State for a 5 p.m. tipoff.
"We've got another tough one coming up," Ishee said. "It doesn't get any easier."