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- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
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Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team gets shot at Kansas
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team has displayed a significantly improved offense through two games this season.
Southeast's attack will face a rugged challenge today when the Redhawks (1-1) visit Kansas (1-0). The tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at legendary Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
Kansas is ranked 25th nationally after reaching last year's NCAA tournament Sweet 16.
"They're probably the most athletic team we play all year, and they have a lot of size," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said. "We have our hands full, no question about it."
The Redhawks began their two-game road trip Monday night with a 69-64 loss at Missouri-Kansas City.
Southeast grabbed a 59-58 lead with just under two minutes left, but UMKC scored the next seven points and held on.
"We had a lot of chances. It was a very winnable game -- that's what I hate about it," Margenthaler said. "I told the team that we have to learn from it."
Margenthaler did see things he liked Monday, including another strong offensive performance by the Redhawks, who have struggled in that area during recent seasons.
The Redhawks shot a solid 43.3 percent from the field overall, including 52.6 percent from 3-point range (10 of 19).
"We shot the ball well," Margenthaler said.
Southeast also made 10 3-pointers during Friday's 78-66 season-opening home win over Wright State. The Redhawks did not hit 10 3-pointers in any game last season.
The Redhawks are averaging 71 points per game while shooting 41.1 percent from the floor and 42.6 percent from long distance. Those figures have been compiled against two squads that won more than 20 games a year ago.
Margenthaler's first Southeast team last season averaged 52.5 points, shot 34.1 percent from the field and hit 22.8 percent from 3-point range.
Southeast averaged less than four 3-pointers per contest a year ago and scored as many as 64 points in a game just five times.
"I think our kids are much more confident shooting the basketball this year. I think our shooting is going to be more consistent," Margenthaler said. "If we need to come back, I think we have the firepower."
Sophomore guard Allyson Bradshaw, a Notre Dame Regional High School graduate, is off to an especially hot start.
Bradshaw scored a career-high 18 points Monday, 13 in the second half. She hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and 7 of 10 field goals overall.
"She really had a great second half," Margenthaler said.
Bradshaw is averaging 15.5 points through two games, both of which she has started. She is shooting 52.4 percent overall (11 of 21) and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc (5 of 11).
Bradshaw played in all 29 games off the bench last season, averaging 5.3 points and shooting 27.2 percent. Her 29.1-percent 3-point accuracy led the squad among players with more than 30 attempts.
"She's playing at a high confidence level," Margenthaler said. "She's really shooting the ball well. We'll need her to do that because it opens up other things for us."
Also sharp from 3-point distance so far have been senior forward Bailie Roberts (6 of 13), freshman guard Dru Haertling from Jackson High School (3 of 4) and freshman guard Kara Wright (2 of 3).
Averaging in double figures offensively, along with Bradshaw, are Roberts (13.5 ppg) and senior forward Brittany Harriel (12.5 ppg).
Southeast will need most of its players to be at the top of their game today if the Redhawks hope to hang with Kansas, which returned four starters from last season.
The Jayhawks feature two honorable-mention All-Americans from a year ago in 6-foot-3 senior forward Carolyn Davis and 5-4 senior point guard Angel Goodrich. They were Kansas' top two scorers last season.
Davis, a first-team all-Big 12 Conference selection, averaged 16.9 points and 5.7 rebounds.
Goodrich, a second-team all-league, averaged 14 points while dishing out a Big 12-record 250 assists.
"They're explosive. They've got one of the best point guards in the country," Margenthaler said.
Kansas opened its season Sunday with a 52-36 home win over Idaho State, which returned four starters from last year's NCAA tournament team. Davis and senior guard Monica Engelman both scored 10 points.
"Our goal is to be in a position to win the game at the end," Margenthaler said. "The big thing is we want to grow from the game. If we approach it right, this game can only help us."
Today's matchup continues a stretch of six straight contests away from Cape Girardeau for Southeast, which won't play another game at the Show Me Center until Dec. 1.