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Southeast women are flying high after comeback

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Southeast Missouri State women's basketball team traveled by bus for its first three road games.

Thursday the Redhawks boarded an airplane as they continue their stretch of six contests away from Cape Girardeau.

Southeast is in Houston, Texas, for the David Jones Classic. The Redhawks (2-2) face host Houston (0-4) at 5:30 p.m. today and Texas-Pan American (2-3) at 10 a.m. Saturday.

"It's going to be a great trip for us," Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler said. "There's going to be good competition, but I think we'll match up well."

The Redhawks are riding high after Monday's 52-51 win at Arkansas State that snapped their 23-game nonconference road losing streak and matched last season's road victory total of one.

Southeast, which trailed by 16 points in the first half and by 14 points at halftime, never led until junior college transfer point guard Jordan Hunter's layup with four seconds left. It marked the first time in nearly three years that the Redhawks won when trailing at halftime.

"We feel so good coming off such a big road win and to be 2-2 against a very tough early schedule," Margenthaler said. "I told the girls, 'Now it's time for us to start a winning streak.'"

The Redhawks opened the season with a 78-66 home victory over Wright State, which won more than 20 games last season.

Southeast lost 69-64 at Missouri-Kansas City, another 20-victory team from a year ago, and 68-58 at 22nd-ranked Kansas.

Then came Monday's stirring triumph at Arkansas State, picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference West Division.

"It was a great win for us, the type of win that can take us a long way," Margenthaler said.

Margenthaler hopes it takes the Redhawks to success in Houston,

The tournament host Cougars went 3-26 overall and 2-14 in Conference USA last year. They are off to another rough start but have been competitive in every game despite playing only one home contest.

The Cougars lost 72-66 at Mississippi State, 83-74 to Alabama, 84-82 at Yale and 76-72 at McNeese State.

Porsche Landry, a 5-foot-1 senior guard, leads the Cougars offensively with an average of 17.3 points per game.

Landry, a starter since her freshman year, was a first-team all-Conference USA selection as a junior in 2010-11 when she averaged 14.8 points. She suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third game last year -- after already scoring 66 points in the three contests -- and received a medical hardship.

Landry is one of four players in school history to have more than 1,000 career points and 300 career assists.

Houston, despite last year's struggles, has a strong recent tradition. In 2010-11, the Cougars went 26-6 overall and 16-0 in league play.

"They've been good in the past, but they had a tough season last year," Margenthaler said. "They're extremely athletic. It will be a tough matchup."

Texas Pan-American's wins have been 77-65 over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 100-63 over Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The Broncs lost at Texas-San Antonio 68-34, to NAIA squad Our Lady of the Lake 72-59 and at 18th-ranked Oklahoma State 96-42.

UTPA, which went 13-17 overall and 5-5 in Great West Conference play last season, is led by 5-5 freshman guard KaeLynn Boyd (9.6 ppg) and 5-5 senior guard Bianca Torre (9.2 ppg), the program's career scoring leader.

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