Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team loses for first time at home

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Southeast Missouri State’s Kara Wright shoots over Missouri State’s Whitney Edie during the first half Friday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Missouri State handed a 69-55 loss to Southeast on Friday

Southeast Missouri State stood toe-to-toe most of the night with one of the nation's traditionally strong women's basketball programs.

But visiting Missouri State's size and depth eventually wore down the Redhawks, denying Southeast a shot at notching one of its bigger wins in recent years.

The Bears outscored Southeast 29-9 over the final nine minutes, 17 seconds Friday to rally for a 69-55 victory in front of an announced 724 fans at the Show Me Center.

Southeast fell to 5-7 after suffering its first home loss of the season. Defending Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion MSU, which has reached two Final Fours since 1992, improved to 7-4.

Southeast Missouri State coach Ty Margenthaler reacts to a play against Missouri State during the second half Friday at the Show Me Center.

"I was proud of our players. We battled for 40 minutes," said second-year Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler, whose squad had won its first three home games. "They were very physical. They really just wore us down. We really got tired. The lack of our depth and our bench were a concern. We need to get healthy."

Depth wasn't expected to be an issue for Southeast this season, but injuries have changed that.

The Redhawks, for all practical purposes, played without their two leading scorers.

Sophomore guard Allyson Bradshaw, averaging 10.6 points per game, played only nine minutes. Southeast's best 3-point shooter attempted just one shot and did not score.

Margenthaler said Bradshaw has what appears to be a torn labrum in her left (non-shooting) shoulder that forced her to miss Southeast's previous game. She should be able to play through the injury, but how effective she'll be remains up in the air.

Senior forward Brittany Harriel, averaging of 10.4 points and 6.2 rebounds, missed her seventh straight game with a broken finger. She should be back for Southeast's next contest, the Ohio Valley Conference opener at Belmont on Dec. 31.

"No excuses," Margenthaler said. "But when you're missing those kind of players against a team like Missouri State, that's tough."

The Bears used 12 players compared to nine for the Redhawks.

"They played very well," MSU coach Nyla Milleson said about Southeast. "We felt like at some point in time our depth and size would make a difference. It did."

MSU's size and strength made a huge difference on the boards as the Bears outrebounded Southeast 62-35, including 25-9 on the offensive glass.

The Bears only had a 13-8 advantage in second-chance points, but all those offensive rebounds allowed MSU to attempt 10 more shots than Southeast.

"Their strength is their inside game. They really got us on that," Margenthaler said. "We didn't rebound the ball well."

MSU entered play with a rebounding margin of nearly plus-five per contest..

"It wasn't surprising. That was one of our keys in practice," junior forward Patricia Mack said. "We didn't carry it over into the game."

Mack did her best to try and neutralize MSU's board strength with her sixth consecutive double-figure rebounding performance.

Mack notched her second double-double of the season and fifth of her career with team highs of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Mack's offensive rebound and basket with 9:25 left matched Southeast's biggest second-half lead at 46-40.

MSU answered with 10 straight points, going ahead for good on a 3-pointer by junior guard Desiree Phillips with 7:54 remaining.

"They went on a run, and we just veered off in different areas," Mack said. "We need to focus. When we score we need to get a stop."

Senior guard Bailie Roberts said the Redhawks needed to put more pressure on MSU after they went up by six points.

"Building on a lead, continuing to get that energy. We've got to grow in that area," Roberts said. "When we get a lead, we have to grow on it."

Southeast trailed just 52-50 with a little more than six minutes left. But an 8-0 MSU burst opened up the game's first double-figure advantage, and the Bears rolled from there.

"Both teams made their runs," Margenthaler said. "We had our chances. They really just amped it up another notch."

Also scoring in double figures for Southeast were freshman guard Kara Wright with 11 points and Roberts with 10 points.

Wright started her second consecutive game in place of Bradshaw. She has reached double figures both contests, including a career-high 15 points during her first collegiate start last Sunday at Western Kentucky.

"She's going to continue to get better," Margenthaler said. "To score in double figures two straight games as a freshman is very impressive."

Wright said she has tried to take advantage of her increased playing time while hoping Bradshaw returns to full strength soon.

"Like coach said, when your number's called you have to take advantage," Wright said.

Freshman guard Olivia Hackmann contributed eight points off the bench.

Senior center Courtney Shiffer tied her season high with three blocks and had seven points and six rebounds. Shiffer moved into a tie for seventh place in school history with 70 career blocks.

Senior forward Whitney Edie paced MSU with 21 points. Senior forward Christiana Shorter had 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Southeast started fast by scoring the game's first nine points. Wright helped Southeast to an 11-5 lead with seven of the Redhawks' early points.

MSU rallied for a 30-25 halftime edge, taking advantage of Southeast going scoreless for more than eight minutes late in the period.

Things stayed tight much of the second half.

Southeast shot 31.7 percent compared to 37.1 percent for MSU. The Redhawks made just 1 of 13 3-pointers compared to 5 of 14 for the Bears. Southeast forced a season-high 21 turnovers and committed 15 turnovers.

"That's a very good basketball team. We can learn from this," Margenthaler said. "We feel confident [entering OVC play]."

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