Southeast drops to 0-13

Sunday, February 8, 2009

For one of the few times this season, Southeast Missouri State got off to a strong start.

But it didn't last as the Redhawks extended the nation's longest current losing streak among NCAA Division I men's basketball teams.

Host Eastern Illinois overcame a 10-point first-half deficit to knock off Southeast 70-62 on Saturday night in Charleston, Ill.

The Redhawks fell to 3-21 overall and 0-13 in the Ohio Valley Conference as they suffered their 13th straight loss.

Southeast, playing for the first time since junior center Calvin Williams was dismissed from the team Friday for a violation of athletic department policy, has dropped 20 consecutive OVC games dating back to last season.

EIU (11-11, 8-4) continued as the surprise club in the 10-team OVC. The Panthers are in fourth place after finishing no higher than eighth the previous five seasons.

Southeast, down to only seven scholarship players after the dismissal of Williams, built a 29-19 lead and carried a 34-32 edge into the break.

It marked only the sixth time the Redhawks have enjoyed a halftime lead this season and second time against an OVC opponent.

EIU went ahead for good early in the second half as a basket by junior guard Romain Martin made it 38-36.

Southeast was still within two points at 47-45 with under 8 minutes remaining, but a 9-0 EIU run made it 56-45 for the game's biggest margin.

Senior forward Jaycen Herring's basket with a little more than 1 minute left cut the deficit to 61-57.

The Redhawks again got within four at 64-60 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Kenard Moore, but EIU held on.

Moore led the Redhawks with 24 points. He hit 6 of 13 from 3-point range.

Sophomore forward Jajuan Maxwell, starting in place of Williams, had his second career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Maxwell, who entered the night averaging 6.7 points, had 13 first-half points.

Herring also scored 15 points for the Redhawks, while junior forward LaMont Russell grabbed 10 rebounds.

Moore and Herring both played all 40 minutes.

EIU was paced by sophomore guard Tyler Laser, who matched a season high with 22 points.

The Redhawks shot 53.8 percent from the field in the opening period against the OVC's top-ranked defense that had been allowing teams to hit only 41.2 percent.

Southeast shot just 39.3 percent in the second half to finish at 46.3 percent. The Redhawks also had 11 second-half turnovers, after committing only four turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

EIU had a big advantage from the free-throw line, hitting 18 of 24 compared to 4 of 8 for Southeast.

The Redhawks return to action Thursday night at Eastern Kentucky in a game that will be televised nationally by ESPNU.

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