Southeast men's basketball team drops OVC opener to Austin Peay

Friday, December 3, 2010
Southeast Missouri State's Marcus Brister shoots over Austin Peay's Tyshwan Edmondson and Will Triggs, right, during the first half Thursday at the Show Me Center. Austin Peay won 78-60. (KRISTIN EBERTS ~

There were the bad things, like 17 turnovers, like a 10-for-22 team performance from the free-throw line, like an offense unable to handle Austin Peay's pressure for long stretches of the game.

And then there were good things, like the double-digit comeback, like Leon Powell's 5 of 5 from the field and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line, and the flashes of defensive prowess.

But the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team lost to the Governors 78-60 on Thursday in its Ohio Valley Conference opener at the Show Me Center to remain winless on the season.

"Losing is good for nothing." Southeast coach Dickey Nutt said. "It's contagious. Winning is contagious. When you win, you start winning. When you lose, you start losing. And right now the character of our basketball team is going to be certainly something to rise up."

Austin Peay rushed out to a 25-8 lead after Southeast scored the first two points of the game, and, though the Redhawks got close in the second half, they never led again.

"Their defensive pressure really pushed us out of our offense and it made us turn the ball over and it led to fastbreak dunks," Nutt said. "We just couldn't stop it and we couldn't handle the ball on the offensive side, and that was the thing that was discouraging because I felt like we settled down in the second half and were able to make a run and play a lot better."

Southeast turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and trailed 41-26 at the break.

We were a little rattled," Southeast senior Anthony Allison said. "We came out too uptight. We should have been more relaxed. So with the pressure they play it was going to their favor.

"Everybody was just so anxious to come out and play, but I guess it was the wrong type of anxiousness. We didn't come out going at them the way they came at us."

The Redhawks played much better from the outset of the second half and used a 14-4 run to pull with two points at 52-50 with 9 minutes, 49 seconds to go in the game.

"I was very pleased with the way we played for about 13 minutes in the second half," Nutt said. "We had some good hustle plays, our defense was fairly well, but it goes back to free-throw shooting right now, and we're just missing way too many free throws to win a basketball game because as soon as we get close to getting over that hump, we can't get over that hump."

Powell said there was no single adjustment made at the break.

"Just play basketball," he said. "Simple. Play basketball. What we do every day."

The Redhawks trailed by six points when they scored their final point with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left in the game. They were outscored 12-0 to close out the game.

"I was disappointed because when we got the momentum and were able to get them on the ropes a little bit, then we'd come down and make a really, really bad turnover," Nutt said. "It's one thing to have a hustle turnover, but when you're just careless with that basketball, that's unacceptable. We cannot have that and will not tolerate that."

Southeast was without Nick Niemczyk, it's second leading scorer this season. Nutt said Niemczyk will be out indefinitely after getting a second opinion on his surgically-repaired knee. Senior Cameron Butler is scheduled to have surgery on an injured foot and will miss six weeks.

"We've got to learn from this one and carry it over to the next one," Allison said."We've got to take that energy we came out with the first 10 minutes of the second half and take it to the first 10 minutes of the first half and then put them both together."

Allison finished with a game-high 20 points on 9 of 17 shooting while Powell finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Anthony Campbell led Austin Peay with 19 points. Tyshwan Edmondson added 14 points.

"I just think that our character is very good. And when you're down and out, it seems like, and certainly when you're down 0-7, your character really comes to the front," Nutt said. "I think the makeup of this team is outstanding in terms of character, so I know and I believe that they'll bounce back and keep coming."

The Redhawks will face conference foe Tennessee State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Show Me Center.

"I really believe this," Nutt said. "If you would look out there I don't know if you would see the same thing that I see, but with my experience over the years I don't see an 0-7 team. I think we're better than an 0-7 team.

"But, hey, it's just what it is. It's 0-7 and we're going to put blinders on and earplugs in, and we're going to keep moving forward, and sooner or later that sun's going to shine for us. We've just got to keep plugging. It's not going to get any easier."

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