Austin Peay continues mastery over Redhawks

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Governors edged short-handed Southeast 68-67 with a strange finish.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- As well as Southeast Missouri State had been playing lately, the Redhawks knew they faced long odds Saturday night.

Try as they might, they simply could not quite overcome them -- but they came close.

The Redhawks, missing two starters and taking on red-hot Austin Peay in a place they have not won this decade, could not pull off a third consecutive Ohio Valley Conference road victory, falling 68-67.

Austin Peay ended Southeast's three-game winning streak and posted its ninth straight home triumph over the Redhawks.

Southeast (6-12, 4-5 OVC) has not won at the Dunn Center since the 1998-99 season. Overall, the Redhawks have lost 14 of the past 15 meetings with the Governors.

The Govs (9-6, 6-1) pushed their winning streak to six and moved into a first-place OVC tie.

"It's disappointing," Southeast coach Scott Edgar said. "We came over here really undermanned, but this team's coming around and these kids played their hearts out."

Winning at Austin Peay would have been difficult under any circumstances for the Redhawks, who played without junior center Mike Rembert and senior guard Terrick Willoughby.

Rembert served a one-game OVC suspension after he was ejected Monday at Murray State, and Willoughby missed his second straight contest with mononucleosis.

But the Redhawks almost pulled off the upset in an intense game that featured nothing but razor-thin margins most of the way.

"We lost by one point without two of our starters," Southeast junior point guard Paul Paradoski said. "It shows how far we've come."

The Redhawks were kicking themselves for not at least giving themselves a chance at the very end, after Paradoski's 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left pulled Southeast within 68-67.

After a Southeast timeout, Austin Peay inbounded the ball to sophomore guard Landon Shipley, who was trapped by several Redhawks in the corner near his own basket.

Edgar said the plan was for the Redhawks to either get a steal or a 5-second call.

But neither came -- and Southeast inexplicably failed to foul Shipley, even though he held the ball for several seconds.

Finally, the Govs called a timeout with just 1.2 seconds remaining. When play resumed, they threw a long pass toward the Southeast basket that was deflected and bounced away as time expired.

"You want to get a 5-second call, you want to get a steal," Edgar said. "We were hoping he [Shipley] would throw it out of there. ... I think he wanted to. He finally just hovered over the ball and they ended up taking it out of bounds again."

Paradoski said he realizes the Redhawks should have fouled Shipley after they could not get a steal in the first few seconds.

"We had him trapped. ... I thought they were going to call 5 seconds. By the time we started to foul, they called timeout," Paradoski said. "It was hard to tell how much time was left on the clock. If we had to do it all over, we would have fouled."

The second half featured seven lead changes, three ties and no advantage of more than five points.

Southeast junior guard David Johnson drilled a 3-pointer with 2:49 remaining to forge the game's final deadlock at 60-60.

Shipley, a St. Louis native whose father Dave played basketball at Southeast in the 1970s, answered 15 seconds later with his only 3-pointer of the night, putting Austin Peay ahead 63-60.

The Redhawks never caught up, but they were also never far from pulling out the win.

Trailing 66-62, Paradoski made two free throws with 57 seconds left.

Austin Peay sophomore forward Drake Reed then made a tough basket at the end of the shot clock, giving the Govs another four-point lead.

But Paradoski answered with his 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds to play, which led to the somewhat botched finish.

"It's tough to lose that way," Paradoski said. "But we hung right in there."

Junior forward Brandon Foust led Southeast with 15 points, but only two came in the second half. Foust also had a career-high 12 rebounds.

Johnson and freshman guard Marcus Rhodes both added 14 points for the Redhawks.

Junior forward Dionte Perry, making his first Southeast start in place of Rembert, had six points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Seldom-used freshman guard Jimmy Drew, who had scored just 13 points all season, hit a pair of first-half 3-pointers, in three attempts.

Junior guard Todd Babbington paced the Govs with 17 points, hitting four of seven 3-pointers. Shipley scored 10 points.

Southeast shot 41.4 percent (24 of 58) and made just nine of 27 3-pointers (33.3 percent). The Redhawks had hit 50 percent from beyond the arc (35 of 70) during their three-game winning streak.

The Redhawks also hurt themselves again from the free-throw line, making 10 of 17 (58.8 percent). In addition, they were called for a lane violation before attempting the front end of a one-and-one. Southeast entered as the OVC's worst free-throw shooting team at 59.5 percent.

"We had our chances," Edgar said. "We missed plenty of opportunities."

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