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Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team drops fifth straight OVC game
The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team appeared poised to take SIU Edwardsville down to the wire and perhaps snap its losing streak.
But a 15-0 run by host SIUE broke a second-half tie and sent the Redhawks to their season-high fifth consecutive defeat, 78-65 Monday night in Edwardsville, Ill.
Southeast fell to 8-13 overall and 2-6 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Redhawks are 1-10 on the road, including 0-4 in OVC road matchups.
The Redhawks remained fifth in the six-team OVC West Division. They are 10th overall in the 12-team conference halfway through their league schedule. The top eight finishers qualify for the OVC tournament.
SIUE (11-10, 5-4) is tied for third in the West Division.
"I was really proud of the effort we gave tonight. It was outstanding," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said after the Redhawks concluded a two-game road trip that began with Saturday's 82-62 loss at Eastern Illinois. "We put ourselves in a position to win, but they go on a 15-0 run and that's the ballgame."
Southeast also hung with OVC power Eastern Illinois before faltering in the second half, which Margenthaler said has been a familiar theme lately.
"Right now we're a 30-minute basketball team. We've got to become a 40-minute basketball team," Margenthaler said.
Monday's game was tight most of the way, with 10 lead changes and 11 ties.
Southeast fell behind 6-0 at the outset but led twice in the first half and entered the intermission down 26-25.
The lead went back and forth for a good part of the second half, the Redhawks going up by three points twice for their biggest advantage of the night.
A basket by Southeast senior guard Bailie Roberts tied the score 53-53 with 9 minutes, 15 seconds remaining, but then the bottom fell out for the Redhawks.
SIUE went ahead 55-53 on two free throws by freshman guard CoCo Moore with 7:54 to play.
Moore's foul shots began the game-deciding 15-0 burst that made it 68-53 with under four minutes left.
The Redhawks missed four shots and committed four turnovers during a five-minute scoreless stretch. Southeast had only 11 turnovers in the game -- well under its average -- but the late miscues were crucial.
"We did a nice job with only 11 turnovers, but we had untimely errors," Margenthaler said. "We had a few silly turnovers. ... We get a little fatigued and that bothers us."
Southeast freshman guard Kara Wright scored a career-high 22 points. That ties the highest-scoring output for any Southeast player this season.
Wright hit 8 of 13 field goals and 5 of 7 free throws. She added five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Sophomore guard Allyson Bradshaw, a Notre Dame Regional High School graduate, added 17 points for Southeast, which was one off her career high.
Bradshaw tied her career high with 5 3-pointers in 10 attempts. She also had three assists and three steals.
"Kara and Allyson both played really well offensively. They did a really good job," Margenthaler said. "Kara is going to be a special basketball player."
Junior forward Patricia Mack led Southeast with 10 rebounds.
But the Redhawks had no answer for Raven Berry, SIUE's powerful 6-foot-1 senior forward.
Berry poured in a career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season and 31st of her career.
Berry, who entered the night averaging 13.4 points and 9.2 rebounds, became SIUE's all-time rebounding leader Monday. She ranks seventh on the school's career scoring list.
"If not the No. 1 post player in our league, she's definitely in the top two or three," Margenthaler said. "She's a handful. She's strong, she's wide."
It didn't help Southeast that senior forward Courtney Shiffer missed her fifth straight game due to a concussion suffered during practice.
"We're so shallow in our post area and that hurts us," said Margenthaler, who is hopeful that Shiffer will return soon.
It also didn't help the Redhawks that SIUE went 26 of 32 from the free-throw line, while Southeast attempted just seven foul shots, making five. No player other than Wright shot a free throw for the Redhawks.
"It's very interesting, that's all I can say. But I don't think that lost the game for us. We could have done some better things," Margenthaler said.
The Redhawks shot 40.6 percent from the field compared to 43.9 for SIUE. Berry helped SIUE outrebound Southeast 44-29. The Cougars outscored the Redhawks 42-20 in the paint.