Bradley extends Redhawks' skid

Monday, December 15, 2008

PEORIA, Ill. -- Southeast Missouri State suffered its fifth straight loss Sunday, a somewhat predictable 75-62 decision at Bradley.

But there was a silver lining in the Redhawks' latest defeat.

Senior guard Kenard Moore, who has struggled with his 3-point shooting most of the season, heated up from long range.

Moore made 5 of 11 from beyond the arc, including three straight in the first seven minutes of the second half.

Moore led the Redhawks (2-8) with a game-high 19 points, although he couldn't prevent Southeast from continuing its worst start to a season since the 2001-02 squad began 2-11.

"Kenard got back to where we need him to be," Southeast acting coach Zac Roman said. "He just relaxed and shot the ball like I know he can."

While Moore entered Sunday's contest as Southeast's second-leading scorer with a 15.3 average, he was hitting just 26.3 percent of his 3-pointers (21 of 80).

Moore had particularly struggled from beyond the arc in the previous four games, making only 4 of 31.

This after Moore connected on 39.1 percent from 3-point range in his first season at Southeast a year ago.

"It was just a slump. I'll be all right," said Moore, who added that his confidence never wavered despite his shooting problems. "It really doesn't affect me."

Roman said Moore had been playing well despite his shooting slump, finding other ways to score.

"People play me to shoot," said Moore, who took over the team-scoring lead at 15.7 points per game. "I have to do other things."

Playing some point guard is also one of the things Moore is being asked to do this season, which explains some of turnovers Sunday.

"I'm asking him to do a lot of things," Roman said. "He had eight turnovers, but he had a great game."

Moore scored 12 second-half points and made 4 of 8 3-pointers in the final period.

"It's always a positive when Kenard makes 3-pointers," sophomore forward Jajuan Maxwell said.

Maxwell also had a strong game with a career-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Maxwell, who entered the contest averaging 6.8 points, made both of his 3-point attempts. He had been 3 of 15 from beyond the arc.

"Jajuan had a very good game," Roman said. "He let the game come to him."

Maxwell said scoring is not his primary focus.

"I'm not worried about my offense," Maxwell said. "I concentrate on defense. That's what wins games."

Besides Moore and Maxwell, most of the other Redhawks struggled offensively.

Southeast shot just 36.2 percent from the field, although the Redhawks did hit 7 of 16 3-pointers (43.8 percent). They entered the game making only 24.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Redhawks outrebounded the Braves 41-37 -- junior forward LaMont Russell led the way with a game-high nine boards -- but committed 23 turnovers.

Bradley had a 32-17 advantage in points off turnovers.

"We have to clean up some stuff with the turnovers," Roman said.

Bradley (5-4), which had lost two straight, got off to a fast start and was in control most of the way.

The Braves led 12-2 less than four minutes into the game and expanded their advantage to 24-6 midway through the first half.

Southeast's biggest deficit was 30-8 with a little more than five minutes left in the opening period.

The Redhawks, down 37-23 at halftime, hung with Bradley most of the second half.

Southeast scored the first seven points of the period to pull within 37-30.

Bradley answered with an 8-0 run to make it 45-30, and the Braves never let Southeast get within striking distance again. Bradley's biggest second-half lead was 71-53.

"Too little, too late," Roman said. "We have to get started from the tip."

Senior forward Theron Wilson paced the Braves with 17 points.

"Bradley is a good team," Roman said.

The Redhawks' next game is Sunday at home against Western Illinois, which beat Southeast 71-66 last week in Macomb, Ill.

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