Women's Basketball start the season with a victory over Wright State, 78-66
Southeast Missouri State University women's basketball coach Ty Margenthaler turned to freshman Dru Haertling when starting point guard Jordan Hunter got into early foul trouble during Friday's game against Wright State.
Haertling ended up making quite an impression during the Redhawks' 78-66 victory over the Raiders to begin the 2012-13 season.
Hunter picked up her second foul with 12 minutes, and 12 seconds remaining in the first half with the Redhawks trailing the Raiders 15-14. Haertling took over Southeast's offense after Margenthaler subbed her in for Hunter. Southeast went up by eight points, 25-17 to end the half.
Haertling scored three points, grabbed four rebounds and picked up two assists during the stretch.
"She has not played the point guard until this past week," Margenthaler said. "We made that adjustment and said 'If Jordan gets in foul trouble, Dru's going to be the one.' No turnovers, making shots, making plays, rebounding the basketball and just a great night for her. I believe her confidence is going to soar from this night."
Haertling's totals for the game included 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
"She stepped up big time tonight," Southeast forward Brittany Harriel said. "Coach always talks about 'When your number is called you have to be ready.' Sometimes, being a freshman, things come hard. She really got out there tonight and I honestly was very proud of her because she stepped up big time for us and we definitely couldn't have won that game without her."
Harriel was one of four Redhawks to score in double-figures with 13 points, and she also grabbed nine rebounds. Fellow forward Bailie Roberts recorded a double-double and had a game-high of 16 points and 13 rebounds.
"The first two exhibition games I was really nervous. I was probably a wreck," Haertling said. "But this time I really took time to pray before the game, and [Roberts and Harriel] especially are so calm when we're together. I don't have to worry about anything. They say 'This is what you have to do. Just lead us and you'll be fine.'"
Southeast limited the Preseason Horizon League Player of the Year Kim Demmings to five points and of 2-of-15 shooting in the first half. She finished with 15 points of shot 6-of-28 from the field.
Demmings led all NCAA Division I freshman in scoring last season with 18.4 points per game.
"I thought we flustered her early in the game," Margenthaler said. "I thought that kind of took her out of the game the rest of the way. She tried to do a little too much."
Margenthaler said Wright State is an athletic team that likes to get inside shots. The Redhawks packed the paint with defenders, which allowed them to challenge Demmings' shots that were close to the basket.
"We just really emphasized her in practice," Haertling said. "Coach we could give her a cushion on defense. The pack defense really helps us on players like that."
Southeast's next game will be against the University of Missouri-Kansas City 7 p.m. Monday at Kansas City, Mo.