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Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team sees streak end against TSU
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team's resurgent season hit a speed bump Monday night in Nashville, Tenn.
Southeast had its three-game winning streak -- the program's longest since the 2008-09 campaign -- snapped with a 68-58 loss to Tennessee State.
The Redhawks, who had already surpassed their victory total from coach Ty Margenthaler's first season last year, fell to 8-9 overall and 2-2 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
"It's tough to win on the road," said Margenthaler, whose squad fell to 1-8 in road games. "I give Tennessee State a lot of credit. They are a very physical team, and they deserved to win that game."
TSU (6-9, 2-2) led virtually wire to wire in beating Southeast for the fourth straight time in Nashville. The Redhawks won last year's meeting in Cape Girardeau 50-39.
Southeast led 12-10 when TSU scored seven straight points to go ahead 17-12. The Redhawks never caught up.
The Tigers opened up a 35-25 advantage late in the first half and it was 40-28 at the break.
TSU outscored Southeast by a whopping 28-0 in the paint during an opening half that saw the Tigers shoot 48.5 percent. Southeast shot 26.1 percent in the first half and had 14 turnovers but stayed within striking distance thanks to making 13 of 14 free throws.
"We just didn't come out with a lot of energy. We just didn't match their physicality," Margenthaler said. "I was disappointed because I felt this was a game we could get."
Southeast faced its largest deficit of the night, 15 points, early in the second half before storming back.
The Redhawks sliced TSU's lead to 51-45 with about 11 minutes left and had a chance to make it a four-point margin but missed two free throws.
TSU answered with five straight points to go up 54-45, and the Redhawks got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
It was 54-47 when TSU used a 6-0 run to go up 60-47. The Tigers stayed in control after that.
"I thought in the second half we played with a lot more energy and intensity. I was proud of our kids in the second half. We just dug ourselves too big a hole," Margenthaler said. "Again, it's a learning process. We've got to learn how to play 40 minutes on the road. Right now we're having trouble with that."
Junior-college transfer point guard Jordan Hunter paced Southeast offensively with 17 points in her fifth straight double-figure performance. She has scored 84 points during that span. Hunter added seven assists.
No other Southeast player scored more than eight points. Senior guard Bailie Roberts tied her career high with 13 rebounds.
Southeast shot 33.3 percent and had 24 turnovers for the game. TSU shot 39.7 percent with 15 turnovers.
TSU ended with a 40-16 advantage on points in the paint. Southeast outrebounded the Tigers 44-35.
The Redhawks played without senior forward Courtney Shiffer, their top shot-blocker and fourth-leading rebounder. She was out with a concussion suffered during a recent practice.
"I think we missed Courtney tonight, to battle some of their inside strength," Margenthaler said.
Senior guard Kesi Hess paced TSU with 18 points.
Southeast hosts defending OVC regular-season and tournament champion Tennessee-Martin (7-11, 2-2) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in a key OVC West Division matchup.
The Redhawks are 6-1 at home, including 2-0 in league play.
"We've got to regroup and get ready for Tennessee-Martin," Margenthaler said. "They're very good, but we've played well at home."
Margenthaler said Shiffer remains questionable for Wednesday.