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Southeast Missouri State women'sbasketball team will host Wright State in season opener
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team gets a chance to avenge one of its losses from last year right off the bat.
Second-year coach Ty Margenthaler's rebuilding project resumes today when the Redhawks open their season against Wright State in a 6:30 p.m. tipoff at the Show Me Center.
The Raiders rolled past Southeast 74-53 last year during a tournament they hosted in Dayton, Ohio
"They took it to us pretty good last year, but I like the fact we got to see them," Margenthaler said. "It's a big game for us. You have to take care of home court."
It won't be easy for the Redhawks to open with a win.
The Raiders, under third-year coach Mike Bradbury, posted the most wins in their 25-year Division I history in 2011-12. They went 21-13, finished third in the nine-team Horizon League and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational for the second consecutive year.
WSU set school records for 3-pointers made in a game with 15 and in a season with 248. The Raiders also reached the 100-point mark in a game for the first time since moving up to Division I.
"They're a talented team. They're very athletic," Margenthaler said. "They'll put up a lot of 3-point shots, probably 20 or 25. We've got to make sure we do a good job defending that."
WSU, picked to finish third in the Horizon League, feature the conference's preseason player of the year in sophomore guard Kim Demmings.
Demmings led all Division I freshmen in scoring last year at 18.4 points per game and set a WSU freshman scoring record with 626 points. She was second in the league in scoring and in assists at 4.3 per contest.
Demmings was the Horizon co-newcomer of the year and a first-team all-Horizon pick.
"She's a great player," Margenthaler said. "She can really score. She's going to get hers but we have to make sure other players don't beat us."
Demmings scored just eight points against Southeast last season but the Raiders still rolled past the Redhawks.
WSU returned no other double-figure scorers from a year ago besides Demmings. Their top 3-point shooter, junior guard Courtney Boyd, suffered a torn ACL during exhibition play.
"We know they'll be a tough opponent but we'll be ready," Southeast senior forward Brittany Harriel said.
Southeast, following today's game, plays six straight contests away from Cape Girardeau. The Redhawks won't be back home until Dec. 1, putting added importance on the opener.
"It's not a make or break game but it's important. We want to get off to a good start," Margenthaler said. "It's going to be a challenge but I do feel like it's a winnable game."