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Sunday, Sep. 14, 2014

A better exhibition

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Southeast Missouri State's David Johnson dunked during the first half of Friday's exhibition game with Kentucky Wesleyan at the Show Me Center.
The Redhawks beat Kentucky Wesleyan 103-72 in their final tuneup for the regular season.

It was only an exhibition -- but that's the way Scott Edgar no doubt envisions his first Southeast Missouri State basketball team playing all the time.

One night after Southeast struggled to beat Division III Westminster, Edgar's "Fast and Furious" style clicked on virtually all cylinders.

The result was a total annihilation of perennial Division II power Kentucky Wesleyan as the Redhawks closed out their two-game exhibition schedule with a 103-72 romp at the Show Me Center.

And the contest really wasn't even as close as that score. The Redhawks led 80-36 early in the second half before coasting home in front of an appreciative crowd announced at 2,672.

"We had a lot of jitters the first game," junior forward Brandon Foust said in reference to Thursday's 88-79 win over Westminster. "We played a lot better tonight.

"Fast and Furious. That's how it's gonna look all the time."

That remains to be seen, because the fact is the Redhawks still are relatively knew at playing together, and especially playing together at Edgar's frenetic, up-tempo pace.

But the Redhawks' first-year coach does anticipate there being plenty of nights like this at the Show Me Center, and also hopefully on the road.

"I told the players before the game to have fun, play with reckless abandon and entertain people," Edgar said. "After the game, I told the players don't think this is just a one-night stand.

"When you play basketball the way you're capable, sharing the basketball, playing defense ... we did a lot of those things."

Southeast also made plenty of shots, particularly at the outset, which always fuels a team's performance.

Against Westminster, the Redhawks shot 34.3 percent in the first half and made just two of 13 3-pointers as they trailed by four points at the intermission.

Friday night, Southeast shot 55.6 percent in the opening period, during which it made 11 of 19 3-pointers. The Redhawks also had only three turnovers at halftime to lead 61-32.

"Early in the game we made a lot of those open shots we missed last night," Edgar said.

Said junior point guard Paul Paradoski, who had a team-high six assists: "We made shots tonight. That opened everything up. You could tell we were having a lot of fun."

Foust, who appeared to be limited somewhat Thursday by lingering knee tendinitis, looked like his usual explosive self Friday.

Foust, an Oklahoma transfer, had 14 first-half points, including two of the Redhawks' four monster dunks during the opening period. He finished with 16 points, hitting six of nine shots, while adding four assists and two steals. Foust also made two of three 3-pointers.

Freshman guard Johnny Hill had 12 first-half points and ended with 16. He hit three straight 3-pointers during one stretch of the opening period and finished 4-for-8 from long range.

Junior college transfer forward Dionte Perry had 14 of his 16 points in the first half. He finished with a perfect shooting line, making all three of his field goals and all 10 of his free throws.

Freshman guard Marcus Rhodes scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half, hitting two of three 3-pointers. He also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Junior guard David Johnson had 10 points, hitting two of three 3-pointers, and he had one of the dunks. He led in steals with three and added two blocks.

Freshman forward Jajuan Maxwell also added 10 points, making two of three 3-pointers. He tied Johnson with two blocks.

Southeast's freshmen hit 10 of the 16 3-pointers Friday. It won't go in the record books because it was an exhibition, but the 16 3-pointers equals the single-game school mark set in 1998.

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