The Redhawks look to improve their play on the road and qualify for the OVC tournament
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team has used its home court to set itself up for a potential Ohio Valley Conference tournament berth.
Southeast could make a stronger case for qualifying if it could make some noise on the road.
The Redhawks get another crack at their first true road victory of the season Saturday when they visit Murray State for a 4:30 p.m. tipoff.
Southeast (6-18, 3-8), shooting for the program's first OVC tournament berth in three years, is ninth in the 11-team conference and just percentage points out of eighth. The top eight finishers qualify for the tournament.
But Southeast is already eighth for tournament purposes because third-place SIU Edwardsville is ineligible for the event during its first year as a conference member.
"We're right there," said first-year Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler, whose squad plays only on of its five remaining OVC games at home. "We've put ourselves in a good position."
The Redhawks evened their home record at 5-5 with Saturday's 50-39 win over Tennessee State. They are 3-4 in OVC contests at the Show Me Center.
But Southeast is 0-4 in conference road games and 0-11 on the road overall. The Redhawks own a neutral site victory over Longwood.
"We have not played nearly as well on the road as we have at home," Margenthaler said.
Murray State (10-14, 6-5) is fifth in the OVC. The Racers beat Southeast 80-75 on Dec. 31 at the Show Me Center behind 23 points from sophomore guard Erica Burgess.
Burgess is the OVC's No. 5 scorer with an average of 16 points per game.
"She's a really good player, and they've got a nice team," Margenthaler said.