Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team begins road stretch

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team opened its season with an impressive win at home Friday night.

Now the Redhawks will try to build on their 78-66 victory over Wright State by putting together some strong road performances.

The Redhawks, who won't play another game at the Show Me Center until Dec. 1, begin a stretch of six six straight contests away from Cape Girardeau when they visit Missouri-Kansas City (0-1) for a 7 p.m. tipoff today.

"It was a good way for us to start the season, but now we have to go out on the road for a while," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said.

UMKC doesn't figure to make things easy on Southeast. The Kangaroos are coming off a strong season that saw them go 22-12 overall and 11-7 for third place in the Summit League.

The Kangaroos lost to South Dakota State in overtime in the finals of the Summit League tournament but received their first WNIT berth.

UMKC lost its leading scorer but returned its next two top scorers along with its top rebounder, assists leader and top shot-blocker.

The Kangaroos welcomed back three returning starters among six letterwinners and were picked second in the nine-team Summit League's preseason poll.

"They are a quality basketball team, well coached," Margenthaler said.

Kim Nezianya, a 6-foot senior forward, averaged 11.1 points and a team-leading 7.7 rebounds last year.

Eilise O'Connor, a 5-7 junior guard, averaged 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and a team-high 4.7 assists.

UMKC's third returning regular is 6-5 junior center Ashli Hill, who averaged 7.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a team-best 2.0 blocks.

The Kangaroos figure to be in a bad mood after opening their season Friday with a 68-51 home loss to Division II Missouri Western, which hit 11 of 25 3-pointers and outrebounded UMKC 40-28.

Nezianya led UMKC with 17 points. Hill added 11 points and six blocks.

"It's going to be a tough game. We're going to have to play well," Margenthaler said. "They'll 2-3 zone us and we have to shoot the ball well."

Southeast enters its road swing with momentum after Friday's win over a team that beat the Redhawks by 21 points last season.

"It's definitely a confidence booster as we go on the road," senior forward Bailie Roberts said.

The Redhawks will try to snap a 21-game nonconference road losing streak. Southeast, which won just one road contest last year, also will look to start 2-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

The Redhawks will play their second road game Wednesday, when they visit Kansas for an 8 p.m. tipoff.

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