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- Crews are working on the new Drury Hotel (10/21/16)4
- Benton man accused of statutory rape, selling pot (10/20/16)1
Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team will attempt to end three-game skid
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team hopes to get back on track in the friendly confines of the Show Me Center.
Southeast, riding a season-long three-game losing streak, hosts Ohio Valley Conference opponent Austin Peay at 2 p.m. Saturday to begin a three-game homestand.
The Redhawks have another OVC game Monday against Murray State before facing nonleague foe Saint Louis University Wednesday.
"It's good to be back home again," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said. "We've played well at home."
Southeast (5-8, 0-1 OVC) is 3-1 at the Show Me Center, its lone loss in its most recent home appearance Dec. 21 against Missouri State.
The Redhawks are coming off Monday's 71-58 setback at Belmont in their conference opener.
Southeast played a strong first half and led 34-25. It was 39-29 early in the final period before Belmont rallied and eventually won going away.
"We played a really good first half but Belmont played harder and smarter than us in the final 20 minutes," Margenthaler said.
Austin Peay (5-7), which will be playing its conference opener Saturday, is led offensively by 6-foot senior guard/forward Meghan Bussabarger with an average of 11.8 points per game.
Leslie Martinez, a 5-10 senior guard, is averaging 10.2 points and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds.
Nicole Olszewski, a 5-7 junior guard averaging 7.8 points, is the OVC's top 3-point shooter at 53.1 percent (17 of 32).
"They'll be a good team," Margenthaler said.
The Governors went 9-22 overall and 5-11 in OVC play last year, finishing ninth -- one spot ahead of Southeast -- in what was then an 11-team conference.
Austin Peay was picked fifth in the OVC West Division this season. Southeast was tabbed for last among the six squads.
The teams split their two meetings a year ago, Southeast winning 69-60 in Cape Girardeau and Austin Peay winning 88-84 in Clarksville, Tenn.
Saturday's game will mark the second contest for Southeast senior forward Brittany Harriel since she returned after missing the previous seven games with a broken finger.
Harriel, Southeast's leading scorer and rebounder last year, was noticeably rusty at Belmont as she did not score while grabbing three rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench.
"I know the time off hurt her," Margenthaler said. "We need her to get her rhythm back and her confidence back."