The Southeast women will host Western Illinois on Saturday
Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coach Ty Margenthaler grew up in Macomb, Ill., during his father's long tenure as the men's basketball coach at Western Illinois University.
Margenthaler and the Redhawks (4-5) will face his hometown university Saturday when WIU (4-4) visits the Show Me Center for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
"I lived there for 17 years," said Margenthaler, a Macomb High Shool graduate. "I have some great memories. It'll be fun to go against Western."
It should also be fun for the Redhawks to finally play a stretch of home games.
Southeast, after having just two of its first nine contests at home, now play five of its next seven at the Show Me Center.
"We've been on the road a lot. It'll be good to have some home games now," Margenthaler said.
WIU, like Southeast, has a second-year coach -- JD Gravina -- who took over a struggling program. The Redhawks, like the Leathernecks, are making solid progress. They ride a current three-game winning streak.
Gravina led the Leathernecks to a 12-19 record a year ago, their best mark since the 2007-08 season.
WIU tied for sixth in the 10-team Summit League after being picked last in the preseason poll. The Leathernecks set program records for points and 3-point field goals.
"Their program is improving," Margenthaler said.
WIU is led offensively by 5-foot-9 senior guard Saule Kontautaite, last season's Summit League newcomer of the year who is averaging 15.4 points.
Michelle Maher, a 5-9 freshman guard, is close behind with a 12.8-point average.
Southeast, following Saturday's game, takes a break for finals before returning to action Dec. 16 at Western Kentucky.