That task became even tougher without sophomore guard Allyson Bradshaw, the Redhawks' leading scorer.
Bradshaw, a Notre Dame Regional High School graduate averaging 10.6 points per game, suffered a left (non-shooting) shoulder injury during practice late last week.
The injury is not believed to be serious although Bradshaw is scheduled to have an MRI today. She dressed out Sunday but did not see action.
The Redhawks hung tough most of the way in Bowling Green, Ky., before suffering a 60-46 loss as they fell to 5-6. WKU is 8-2.
(Miranda Pederson ~ Daily News)
Harriel has missed six straight games since suffering a broken finger. She is progressing well and should return to action soon.
"We've been bit by the injury bug," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said. "Hopefully we'll get healthy by the time conference play starts."
Freshman Kara Wright made her first collegiate start Sunday in place of Bradshaw. Wright was impressive, reaching double figures in points for the first time.
Wright scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a game-high 37 minutes. She added two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
"She's going to be really good," Margenthaler said.
The Redhawks got the game's first basket for a 2-0 lead. WKU scored the next six points before Southeast forged a 6-6 tie.
WKU used a 7-0 run to go ahead 13-6. but the Redhawks again battled back for a 16-16 deadlock.
The Hilltoppers then went ahead for good with the game's next six points for a 22-16 lead. The Redhawks stayed within striking distance much of the day but never caught up.
WKU led 28-24 at halftime. The Redhawks trailed only 40-37 after Wright hit a jumper with just over nine minutes left. Southeast then went scoreless for more than seven minutes during a 14-0 run by WKU that opened a 54-37 lead.
"We got within three points and got to a media timeout," Margenthaler said. "I thought WKU was tired at that point, but we looked gassed instead. They got offensive rebounds and second chance points and it really took the wind out of our sails. You just can't do that against a quality basketball team like this."
Wright was Southeast's only double-figure scorer.
Senior forward Courtney Shiffer tied her season high with eight points.
Junior forward Patricia Mack had her fifth straight double-figure rebounding performance. Mack grabbed 10 boards despite playing just 20 minutes due to foul trouble.
Freshman guard Dru Haertling from Jackson High School hit 2 of 4 3-pointers and scored six points off the bench.
Southeast cooled off to 29 percent in the second half after shooting 40.9 percent in the first half. The Redhawks finished at 34 percent and made just 4 of 19 3-pointers (21.1 percent).
WKU shot 39.4 percent and outrebounded Southeast 45-33.
Sophomore guard Alexis Govan paced the Hilltoppers with 20 points.
Sophomore forward Chastity Gooch, who leads the nation with nine double-doubles, had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Redhawks return to action Friday, hosting Missouri State at 6:30 p.m.
Margenthaler is hopeful Bradshaw will be able to play against the Bears. He anticipates Harriel returning for Southeast's Dec. 31 Ohio Valley Conference opener at Belmont.