Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team visits winless SIU Carbondale

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Southeast Missouri State and SIU Carbondale haven't squared off in women's basketball since the 2005-06 season.

That's way too long for second-year Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler.

Margenthaler is excited about the Redhawks (4-4) and Salukis (0-6) renewing their rivalry today at 7:05 p.m. in Carbondale, Ill.

The two-year contract between the programs has SIUC visiting Southeast next season. Margenthaler hopes the teams also will play annually in the years to come.

"It's kind of like a home game, being only about 45 or 50 minutes away," Margenthaler said. "We can go over there the day of the game. It's fun for the fans. We want to play them as long as they'll play us."

Southeast and SIUC faced each other three straight years from the 2003-04 through 2005-06 campaigns.

The Redhawks won all three meetings on the court, although the 2004-05 and 2005-06 victories were vacated after Southeast was found to have committed NCAA violations.

Southeast trails the all-time series 23-6.

"It's great to get that rivalry going again," Margenthaler said.

Both programs are in rebuilding stages after several struggling seasons -- SIUC hasn't posted a winning record since 2006-07 while Southeast's last winning ledger came in 2007-08 -- although right now the Redhawks appear to have considerably more momentum than the Salukis.

Southeast, after going 7-22 last season during Margenthaler's first year, has a .500 record through eight games for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign.

The Redhawks already have picked up several notable wins, including victories against two teams -- Wright State and Illinois-Chicago -- that they lost to last season by at least 15 points.

"This basketball team is growing in the right way, and I'm excited to see it," Margenthaler said. "Our confidence is soaring every day."

SIUC, after going 2-28 a year ago -- including 0-18 in the Missouri Valley Conference -- is winless through six games this season. Only two of the losses have been by less than nine points.

But Margenthaler said the Salukis have considerable talent and are dangerous.

Cartaesha Macklin, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard, leads SIUC offensively with a 14.7 average. She is the Salukis' only double-figure scorer.

Macklin was the 2011-12 MVC freshman of the year after she averaged 16.5 points per game, second in the league and sixth nationally among all freshmen.

Dyana Pierre, a 6-2 redshirt freshman forward, is averaging 8.3 points and 10 rebounds.

"They're talented and they're really athletic," Margenthaler said. "They're very young. That's probably their biggest thing right now. But they're itching to get that first win so they'll be very hungry."

Southeast took care of its first victory during the season opener against Wright State, but now the Redhawks would love to post their first two-game winning streak under Margenthaler.

The Redhawks last posted two straight victories during the 2010-11 season.

"It's been a while since we've won two games in a row. We need to get that started," Margenthaler said.

Hunter honored

Southeast's Jordan Hunter has been named the OVC newcomer of the week. Hunter, a junior guard from New Zealand, scored a season-high 18 points, grabbed five rebounds and had two steals to help the Redhawks to a 67-52 home victory against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.

Hunters also had eight points, five assists and two steals in a 29-point loss at Missouri on Thursday.

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