Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Redhawks victorious at home opener

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Southeast women's basketball team had its first home game of the season against the Missouri Valley Vikings and was victorious with a dominating score of 69-34.

After a lopsided season opening loss to Louisville, head coach Rekha Patterson expected much better play from her athletes during the game against the Vikings.

Patterson told the Redhawks they needed to put more effort into their performance before the start of the game.

"She wanted us to give a little more,” junior guard Adrianna Murphy said, “because to be the team we want to be this year, we cannot be at any moment just going through the motions."

The Redhawks did “give a little more,”, as they outscored the Vikings by double digits at the end of each quarter and forced the opposing team outside of its comfort zone.

Sophomore guard Jessie Harshberger, No. 13, senior guard Kaley Leyhue and junior forward Dolapo Balogun, No. 4, stand on the court after the game on Nov. 14 against Missouri Valley to sing the Southeast Alma mater.
File photo.

The Redhawks fed off of the Vikings’ poor defense in front of the net as they scored 38 of their points from the paint. In particular, senior forward Deja Jones led the team with 22 points by standing in the paint and using a strong, physical type of play to beat the Missouri Valley defenders to the net.

"We noticed that Deja was playing hard and after each time out she responded by doing what she does well," Patterson said.

Jones had a great performance during the game but she gave all of the credit to her teammates.

"I have to credit my teammates for running the ball along the floor to put me into a position where I can score,” Jones said. “We have been doing that a lot in practice and it's good for me to give back to them outside of practice."

However, this is not the only time Patterson expects this type of performance out of her players. She said they need to shift their focus to their next matchup against St. Francis University.

"We are going to have our hands full, and we will have to do what we did against Missouri Valley,” Patterson said. “On another level, however, I am really looking forward to the challenge."

The Redhawks, now with a record of 1-1, hit the road to Fairfax, Virginia, for their next game against the Red Flash of St. Francis University, who have a record of 0-1, at noon on Friday.