Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team falls to Morehead State

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Southeast Missouri State’s Kara Wright takes a shot against Morehead State’s Casey Ryans during the second half Monday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coach Ty Margenthaler generally has been pleased with the way his improved team has performed this season, even in defeat.

That was definitively not the case Monday night after visiting Morehead State blistered Southeast's defense in the second half and rallied for a 70-64 win.

An announced Show Me Center crowd of 577 saw the Redhawks suffer their third straight loss, tying a season high.

Southeast fell to 8-11 overall and 2-4 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Eagles improved to 7-13 and 3-3.

"I'm very disappointed with how we played tonight," said Margenthaler, whose squad already had matched the program's most wins since the 2008-09 team went 15-15. "Morehead State played a very good basketball game. They played their game plan for 40 minutes, and we didn't have the toughness to step up to it.

"Tonight was a step backward for us. We were definitely outcoached tonight, outplayed. Give them all the credit in the world. It's frustrating. We're going to regroup and find out what this team is made of."

Southeast, which had won six of its first eight home games this season, figured to have a solid chance of ending Morehead's recent dominance in the series.

The Eagles had other plans as they beat Southeast for the eighth consecutive time, including five straight at the Show Me Center.

"It's a letdown, that's for sure," senior guard Bailie Roberts said.

Southeast led most of the first half, but never by more than six points, and carried a 33-29 advantage into the break.

The hot-shooting Eagles took control in the second half, going ahead for good with just over 12 minutes remaining and eventually building an 11-point bulge.

"I'm tickled to death with the win. I'm tickled to death with the resolve we showed in the second half," Morehead coach Tom Hodges said. "Ty has done such a great job with his roster. Not many people have won here."

Morehead hit its first five 3-point attempts of the second half and made 12 of its first 16 field-goal attempts overall.

When the Eagles weren't bombing from long range, they were consistently beating Southeast for layups either off the dribble or on hard cuts to the basket.

"They just tore us apart," sophomore guard Allyson Bradshaw said.

The Eagles shot 61.9 percent in the second half and 51 percent in the game. Southeast previously had not allowed any opponent to shoot better than 47.5 percent.

"We didn't stick to our defensive principles. We just didn't play as a team on defense," Roberts said. "They just brought more energy in the second half."

Southeast trailed 64-55 with under two minutes left, but Morehead left the door open for a possible comeback by making just 6 of 13 free throws in the final 1 minute, 22 seconds.

The Redhawks could not capitalize. Three times they cut the deficit to five points but got no closer.

"We should have won, point blank," freshman guard Kara Wright said. "We just let it slip through our fingers. It started on defense."

Roberts continued her scoring surge with 20 points, two off her career high. She has reached double figures in seven of the last eight games and is averaging a team-best 14.7 points in conference play.

"I know that's one of my jobs, to score. I've been looking for my shot," said Roberts, who also leads Southeast with a 10.8 average. "I think we scored enough to win. It was just really the defense that killed us."

Wright added 12 points and Bradshaw contributed 11. She hit 3 of 6 from beyond the arc while Roberts was 3 of 7.

Southeast shot 39.7 percent and outrebounded Morehead 42-29, led by junior forward Patricia Mack with nine boards.

Morehead was paced by junior guard Terrice Robinson, the league's No. 3 scorer at more than 17 points per game. She poured in 23 points, 16 in the first half to keep the Eagles within striking distance before they caught fire.

Southeast senior forward Courtney Shiffer missed her third straight game due to a concussion suffered during practice.

The Redhawks now face a two-game road swing beginning Saturday at OVC powerhouse Eastern Illinois.

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