Rembert's rebound, putback rescue Redhawks

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Southeast beat Morehead 61-59 on the junior center's basket with 1.4 seconds left in the game.

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Southeast Missouri State coach Scott Edgar has liked the resiliency of his team all season.

There was plenty for Edgar to appreciate Wednesday night as the Redhawks pulled out a 61-59 win at Morehead State.

Junior center Mike Rembert -- who was expected to have his minutes limited by a foot injury -- scored on a layup after an offensive rebound with 1.4 seconds remaining to break a 59-59 tie.

Despite junior forward Brandon Foust -- Southeast's leading scorer and rebounder -- being extremely hobbled by an ankle injury, the Redhawks were able to survive on the road.

Southeast evened its Ohio Valley Conference record at 6-6 and improved to 8-13 overall by winning for the fifth time in its last seven games, including three of its last four road contests. The Redhawks, tied for seventh place in the 11-team conference, are just a half-game out of fourth place.

"I'm just really proud of all the guys," Edgar said. "We won this game on heart."

Foust, who was not even expected to play because of his tender ankle, gutted it out and played 24 minutes off the bench, but he was limited to six points, after averaging a little more than 18 points during the previous four games.

"It was hurting me pretty bad, but coach said the team needed me, so I just tried to do what I could," Foust said.

While Edgar didn't think Foust would be able to take the court, the coach also expected Rembert's availability to be limited because of his foot problem.

Rembert, in fact, did not even start. But the 6-foot-9 Rembert scored 10 first-half points on his way to a game-high 18, in 30 minutes. He was 7-for-9 from the field, pulled down a game-leading seven rebounds and added three assists.

"The foot was a little sore, but you just have to suck it up," Rembert said.

Rembert saved his best for last, with a major assist from Foust. After an 8-0 run by Morehead wiped out Southeast's late 59-51 lead, the game came down to the closing seconds.

Southeast had a shot-clock violation with 19 seconds remaining, and Morehead (10-9, 6-5) appeared poised to take the lead when Quentin Pryor got through the defense and headed toward the basket with what looked like an open layup.

But Foust blocked Pryor's shot and Southeast came down with the rebound.

"It was a two-on-one and luckily I got over there in time," Foust said.

At the other end, Southeast freshman point guard Roderick Pearson had a 3-pointer rim out, but Rembert was there for the rebound and put-back with less than 2 seconds remaining.

"When the shot went up, I just blocked out and tried to attack the glass," Rembert said.

Morehead never got off a shot at the other end.

"This is huge, to win on the road," Rembert said.

Southeast got a lift from the return of senior guard Terrick Willoughby, who had missed the past four games with mononucleosis.

Willoughby, one of the OVC's top 3-point shooters, hit both of his first-half attempts from beyond the arc, including one just before the buzzer to pull the Redhawks within 33-32 at the break.

"It felt good to be back out there," said Willoughby, who missed all three of his attempts from 3-point range in the second half and finished with six points in 26 minutes off the bench.

No Southeast player other than Rembert scored in double figures, but Pearson added nine points, junior guard David Johnson had eight points and freshman forward Jajuan Maxwell contributed seven points.

Junior point guard Paul Paradoski, who started along with Pearson in the backcourt, had five assists.

"To go on the road and get this one, it's really big for us," Paradoski said.

Added Edgar: "We got a lot of contributions."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: