Southeast women stage late comeback against Western Michigan

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Southeast Missouri State's Courtney Shiffer drives e around Western Michigan's Robin Giden on her way to the basket during Tuesday's game at the Show Me Center.

Southeast used a late 20-2 run to defeat Western Michigan 60-56

The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team led for all of 1 minute, 28 seconds Tuesday night.

That was enough for the Redhawks to pull off a comeback at the Show Me Center.

Southeast used a late 20-2 run to rally past Western Michigan 60-56.

The Redhawks scored 24 of the game's final 31 points after they trailed 49-36 with less than 10 minutes left.

Southeast Missouri State's Karley Evans takes a shot over Western Michigan's Aurielle Anderson during the first half of a game on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010, at the Show Me Center. SEMO won 60-56. (Kristin Eberts)

"I thought it was a really good comeback," sophomore forward Brittany Harriel said. "It's a big win."

Southeast improved to 4-5 as the Redhawks have their first two-game winning streak since early January.

Western Michigan, from the Mid-American Conference, fell to 2-7 with its fifth straight loss. The Broncos own a win over defending Ohio Valley Conference champion and preseason favorite Eastern Illinois.

"The MAC is a higher rated conference than the OVC," Southeast coach John Ishee said. "The fact they beat the defending champion out of our league. ... it's a huge win.

"It was a total team effort. I told them after the game that all the plays add up. I was very proud of our resiliency."

Southeast Missouri State's Katie Norman leaps for a rebound in front of Western Michigan's Taylor Manley during the first half Tuesday at the Show Me Center.

The Redhawks needed plenty of resiliency after a nightmare start that saw them score four points over the first 11-plus minutes.

Southeast fell behind by 11 points late in the opening half. The Redhawks shot 27.3 percent and had 15 turnovers in the half but only trailed 23-16 at the intermission.

"I think we definitely struggled at the beginning," junior college transfer guard Karley Evans said. "The first half we had a hard time getting good shots."

Southeast was more aggressive offensively in the second half, which led to much better looks and sizzling 68.2-percent shooting (15 of 22).

The Redhawks still faced their biggest deficit of the night when a WMU basket with 9 minutes, 29 seconds left made it 49-36.

But the Redhawks dominated the rest of the way. A Harriel 3-pointer with 4:10 to play made it 51-51 for the game's first tie.

After neither squad scored for nearly three minutes, sophomore guard Jasmine Davis was fouled on a drive to the basket with 1:28 remaining.

Davis made both free throws, putting Southeast up 53-51 for its first lead.

"We didn't give up. We just kept the mindset to keep fighting," junior guard Bianca Beck said.

Juco transfer forward Courtney Shiffer stole a pass with 1:10 left and Beck's layup at the 44-second mark made it 55-51.

After a WMU miss, Shiffer hit 1 of 2 free throws with 28 seconds left to put Southeast up 56-51 and complete the stunning 20-2 burst.

"When clutch came, we produced," Beck said.

The Broncos finally got their first field goal in more than nine minutes as they cut the deficit to 56-53 with nine seconds remaining.

Beck hit two free throws with 8.6 seconds left. After a WMU 3-pointer made it 58-56, Davis iced the victory by nailing two foul shots with 2.3 seconds to go.

"We never caved in when we got down double digits. We played extremely hard the last 10 minutes," Ishee said. "We grinded it out. We have to grind things out. When we do that, we can compete with most teams on our schedule."

Harriel scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Nine of her points came in the second half.

Beck made all four of her field-goal attempts and scored 12 points, 10 in the second half. She also grabbed five rebounds.

Sophomore forward Katie Norman scored all 11 of her points in the final period. She added five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Evans contributed 11 points and four rebounds.

"It was definitely a team win," Harriel said.

WMU senior guard Taylor Manley hit 5 of 10 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 24 points, but Southeast was able to overcome that with its strong finish.

The Redhawks had only seven turnovers after halftime, finished shooting a season-high 47.7 percent (21 of 44) and made 11 of 14 second-half free throws -- 7 of 8 in the final 1:28 -- after they hit just 3 of 8 first-half foul shots.

"We definitely picked it up," Evans said. "We had to play with a sense of urgency."

The Redhawks have another nonconference game Friday night at nationally ranked Wisconsin-Green Bay (8-0).

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