Southeast women shoot for another upset win at home

Sunday, November 29, 2009
Southeast MIssouri State's Lauren Sharpe, center, drives the ball to the basket Monday night as the Redhwaks took on Southern Miss. (LAURA SIMON)

Wisconsin-Green Bay quietly assembles impressive credentials

Although the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team has struggled lately, the Redhawks' most recent home game resulted in an upset of Southern Mississippi.

Southeast coach John Ishee believes the Redhawks will need an even stronger performance to pull off another upset today.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, which Ishee said ranks among the better programs in the country, visits the Show Me Center for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

UWGB went 29-4 last year and 18-0 in the Horizon League on its way to an 11th straight regular-season conference title. The Phoenix advanced to the NCAA tournament for their 12th consecutive postseason berth and are favored to make it 13 in a row.

Southeast Missouri State's Bailie Roberts, center, shoots during the Redhawks' 73-63 victory against Southern MIssissippi earlier this month at the Show Me Center. (LAURA SIMON)

"They are a program that maybe a lot of fans don't really know much about," said Ishee, whose team had its most impressive performance of the young season during a 73-63 win over Southern Miss on Nov. 16. "But I don't think there are 10 programs in the country better than them.

"We'll have to play better than we did against Southern Miss to have a shot."

The Phoenix, 134-25 over the previous five seasons, are off to another strong start this year at 4-0, including Tuesday's victory at Wisconsin of the Big 10 Conference.

UWGB has won at least 20 games each of the past 10 years. Its last losing record was during the 1976-77 season.

Like Southeast -- 2-2 after suffering consecutive lopsided road losses -- UWGB is young, with no seniors and four juniors. The Redhawks have nine freshmen, with just one senior and one junior.

But UWGB, despite losing four starters from a year ago, has considerable experience.

UWGB's lone returning starter is 5-foot-7 junior guard Celeste Hoewisch, who earned second-team all-Horizon League honors.

Hoewisch was last year's No. 3 scorer for the Phoenix at 10.2 points per game while ranking fourth in the league in steals. She is averaging 11.8 points so far.

Kayla Tetschlag, a 6-foot junior forward, is leading the Phoenix offensively with a 13.3 average. She was voted the Horizon League sixth player of the year last season.

"They are a really good team," Ishee said. "We'll have to play really hard and together and make shots just to be in the game with them."

Southeast will be looking to bounce back from two crushing road defeats, including Tuesday's 72-28 destruction at Indiana State. Three days earlier, Missouri State routed the Redhawks 72-46.

"It's hard not to get demoralized when you get beat like that," Ishee said of Tuesday's rout. "But, with such a young team, you just have to weather the ups and downs and look for growth.

"And it's not like we're playing chump teams. We're playing some very good teams."

Today's game marks Southeast's final tuneup before opening Ohio Valley Conference play Thursday at Austin Peay.

"The main thing for us is to get as ready for the conference season as possible," Ishee said.

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