By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It was feast or famine for Tennessee Tech Saturday night in Eblen Center.
The Golden Eagles feasted for most of the first half, taking as much as a 15-point lead, but when Southeast Missouri finally found the range the Redhawks turned the tide to take an 83-74 Ohio Valley Conference victory.
The Golden Eagle defense held the league's top-scoring offense without a point for more than five minutes to start the game, ripping off an 11-0 run. Pounding the boards, Tech extended the lead to 18-3 with 12:07 to play in the first half.
But the 3-pointers began to fall for SEMO and the Redhawks surged back to tie the game, then took a five-point lead into halftime, 34-29.
After shooting 50 percent for the first 10 minutes, Tech cooled off and finished the half hitting 29 percent.
Southeast continued to roll early in the second half, climbing on top by as many as 17 points midway in the period. Tech fought to the finish, using a 16-8 run to pull within nine with three minutes to play but could never quite complete the comeback.
Tyler Stone led SEMO (10-9/2-4 OVC) with 23 points and 16 rebounds as the Redhawks held a 49-32 advantage on the glass and placed five scorers in double figures. Paul McRoberts added 16 points, Jarekious Bradley had 12 points and seven rebounds, Jamaal Calvin scored 12, and Nino Johnson netted 10 in the winning effort.
Tech (10-10/3-2 OVC) also had five players in double figures, including four starters. Jordan Johnson led Tech with 13 while going 4-for-8 from long distance. Point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas had 12 points, six assists and five steals, Ladon Carter added 11 points and six rebounds, Dennis Ogbe had 10 points and six boards, and Josiah Moore finished with 10.
The Golden Eagles shot 31.3 percent for the game while SEMO used 57.7 percent accuracy in the second half to finish the night at 49.1 percent overall.
Tech lost only 10 turnovers in the contest, and finished with 10 more shots after forcing 22 Redhawk turnovers. The Golden Eagles held a 29-17 edge in points off turnovers, but SEMO outscored Tech in the paint, 38-26.
Tech's next two games are on the road, with a visit to Murray State on Thursday (Jan. 23) and Austin Peay Saturday (Jan. 25). The Golden Eagles' next home contest is Thursday, Jan. 30, when Tennessee State visits Eblen Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff.