Margenthaler spent first year trying to mend struggling Southeast Missouri State women's basketball program

Friday, March 9, 2012
The Southeast Missouri State women’s basketball team will lose three seniors, including guard Bianca Beck (above). Returners for next season will include freshman guard Allyson Bradshaw (left), who played as a true freshman after graduating from Notre Dame Regional High School.

There weren't as many wins as he hoped for, but he had few complaints about the effort.

That sums up Ty Margenthaler's assessment of his first season as the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coach.

"The biggest thing I was pleased with [was] I thought we competed night in and night out against everybody," he said. "The effort was there. No question we wanted to win a few more games and get into the conference tournament. I'm a competitor. Our goals are higher than what we achieved.

"But we were picked last in the conference and we didn't finish there. I'm proud of that."

The Redhawks went 7-22 overall and 4-12 in Ohio Valley Conference play to finish 10th in the 11-team league.

Southeast Missouri State coach Ty Margenthaler reacts to a play during a game this season at the Show Me Center. The Redhawks finished 7-22 in Margenthaler’s first season. (Fred Lynch)

Southeast broke the school record for losses in a season on its way to missing the eight-team OVC tournament for the third consecutive year.

But Margenthaler knew things would not be easy when he took over a program that has experienced plenty of success but had fallen on hard times.

Southeast's 2009-10 and 2010-11 squads both lost 21 games to equal the previous low-water mark. Those clubs went a combined 15-42, including 8-28 in the OVC.

"I knew it was a tough situation," Margenthaler said. "And losing Katie Norman and Brooke Taylor [both did not play this year because of injuries], that really set us back another step."

Margenthaler is far from discouraged despite this season's struggles.

Southeast Missouri State's Courtney Shiffer drives to the basket against Eastern Illinois' Mariah King during the first half Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

"I really do believe we did a lot of good things this year and laid down the foundation for the future," he said. "I think we're starting to change the culture. I believe we have a program now."

Margenthaler is confident of a much more talented roster next season when the Redhawks combine nine returning scholarship players -- a group that includes Norman and Taylor -- along with likely six newcomers.

"We have a good nucleus coming back. We have good experience and a good freshman class coming in," Margenthaler said.

Southeast had just three seniors, including starting guards Bianca Beck and Karley Evans. They ranked third and fourth on the Redhawks in scoring with 7.0 and 6.9 points per game, respectively.

Beck, Southeast's point guard, led the squad in assists with 102 and steals with 35. Evans tied for first with 34 3-pointers and was second with 67 assists.

Southeast Missouri State junior forward Bailie Roberts was second on the team this season in scoring. (Fred Lynch)

"I really appreciate the contributions our seniors made," said Margenthaler, whose senior group also included little-used forward Amber Holmes.

Junior forward Brittany Harriel was Southeast's top scorer and rebounder, averaging 10.2 points and 6.9 boards (ninth in the OVC). She scored double figures in seven of the final eight games.

Harriel ranked among the OVC's top 15 in rebounding and blocked shots (18) and would have been high in field-goal percentage (46.0) if she had enough attempts to qualify.

"I thought Brittany took her game to another level. I'm excited about that," Margenthaler said.

Junior forward Bailie Roberts was the Redhawks' second-leading scorer and rebounder with 9.7 points and 6.1 boards.

Southeast Missouri State's Allyson Bradshaw drives around Austin Peay's Nicole Olszewski during the first half of a game on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, at the Show Me Center. Southeast won 69-60. (Kristin Eberts)

Junior center Courtney Shiffer, who rounded out Southeast's starters, averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds while leading Southeast with 21 blocks to rank 10th in the conference.

True freshman guard Allyson Bradshaw, a Notre Dame Regional High School graduate, averaged 5.3 points off the bench and tied Evans for the team lead in 3-pointers with 34.

Other key reserves were sophomore forward Patricia Mack (3.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg), junior guard Shelah Fields (2.3 ppg) and true freshman guard Yelena Rosado (2.4 ppg).

Margenthaler hopes to have Norman and Taylor healthy next season.

Norman, a guard who has two years of eligibility left, missed the entire campaign with back problems. She was the 2010-11 squad's co-leading scorer with an 8.9-point average while leading the Redhawks with 46 assists and 31 3-pointers.

Southeast Missouri State's Bianca Beck, left, Brittany Harriel and Jacksonville State's Candace Morton dive for a loose ball during the second half of a game on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, at the Show Me Center. Southeast won 66-48. (Kristin Eberts)

Taylor, a forward who probably will have four years of eligibility remaining, has not yet taken the court after being Southeast's top recruit for the 2010-11 season. She missed that campaign with a blood disorder and this year with a knee injury.

"I was excited about having them this year," Margenthaler said. "Hopefully they'll both come back healthy because they're really going to help us."

Southeast landed four high school seniors during the early signing period: Jackson forward/center Connor King, Jackson combo guard Dru Haertling, combo guard Olivia Hackman from Jefferson City, Mo., and guard Kara Wright from Louisville, Ky.

The Redhawks also have a verbal commitment from forward/center Jessica Bygate, a freshman at Moberly (Mo.) Area Community College who plans to sign in April.

Margenthaler said the Redhawks also plan to sign a sixth recruit, which would put them at the maximum of 15 scholarship players allowed by the NCAA for women's basketball.

Southeast Missouri State's Courtney Shiffer drives to the basket against Eastern Illinois' Mariah King during the first half Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

"I feel like we filled our holes through recruiting. I feel like everybody we bring in will be able to help us," Margenthaler said. "We'll have depth. I'm excited about that."

And excited about the state of the program.

"Our future is bright," he said. "It's a process. The way we're doing it, mainly with high school players, we're building for long term. It doesn't happen overnight and it may not happen next year, but I believe success is not very far off. I really like the direction we're heading."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: