Southeast men fall 65-56 in overtime to JSU

Friday, January 28, 2011
Southeast Missouri State's Anthony Allison goes up for a shot against Jacksonville State's Jeremy Bynum, who was called for a foul on the play during the first half Thursday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

The Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team carried a four-game losing streak into Thursday night's contest.

That was nothing compared to Jacksonville State's struggles as the Gamecocks had suffered 14 consecutive defeats.

But the Gamecocks were the ones leaving the Show Me Center with smiles on their faces.

JSU, despite never leading in regulation, got its first Ohio Valley Conference victory at Southeast's expense, 65-56 in overtime.

The Gamecocks (3-18, 1-9 OVC), who also snapped a 17-game road losing streak, had last won Nov. 27 over nonconference opponent South Dakota.

"I'm proud of them," said JSU coach James Green, whose squad had suffered seven of its nine conference defeats by nine points or fewer, with four by five points or less. "We've competed in some games."

Southeast (5-16, 4-7) remained eighth in the 10-team OVC but now leads ninth-place Tennessee-Martin by just one-half game. The top eight finishers qualify for the conference tournament.

"It was a bad game, just a bad game," Southeast coach Dickey Nutt said. "From the start, we never could get into any kind of rhythm.

"That's our most disappointing loss this year. Give them credit. They hung around and made enough plays."

The announced crowd of 2,393 did not witness a masterpiece. The game, largely dominated by turnovers and poor shooting, featured an incredibly low-scoring first half that saw Southeast lead 19-13.

"I've never been in a game like that," Southeast senior guard Anthony Allison said. "Both teams couldn't hit a shot. It was a pitty-pat game.

"We took a little lead but they kept it close enough."

Southeast, which won 76-67 at JSU on Dec. 19, built regulation's biggest lead of 21-13 early in the second half.

The Redhawks stayed ahead most of the period but never could shake JSU, which forged three ties in the half.

"We just hung around and gave ourselves a chance to win," Green said.

Southeast still appeared to be in good shape, ahead 43-38 with under two minutes remaining.

Two JSU free throws and a 3-pointer following a Southeast turnover made it 43-43.

A tough bank shot from in close by redshirt freshman point guard Lucas Nutt put Southeast back up 45-43 with 1:02 left.

After a JSU miss, Southeast had a chance to build a two-possession lead but Nutt -- among the Redhawks' best free-throw shooters -- missed the front end of a one-and-one with 17 seconds to play.

Freshman guard Brian Williams made a difficult layup in traffic with eight seconds left for the night's final deadlock of 45-45.

Southeast committed a turnover with 2.9 seconds left but JSU missed a shot at the buzzer.

"We had several times to close it out," Allison said. "Missed free throws, turnovers. We had too many turnovers.

"They just kept chipping away at us. A team with that type of record, they just want to hang around and try to make a few plays at the end."

The Gamecocks dominated the five-minute overtime, outscoring Southeast 20-11.

Southeast won the tip but immediately made one of its 21 turnovers. Senior guard Nick Murphy scored inside to put JSU ahead 47-45 and Southeast never caught up.

JSU hit 4 of 5 shots in overtime and also made 11 of 12 free throws after the OVC's worst foul-shooting club was just 6 of 15 from the charity stripe in regulation.

The Gamecocks opened up a 51-46 lead less than two minutes into the extra session. Southeast got within three points before JSU steadily pulled away.

"They got into overtime and got a huge dose of confidence," coach Nutt said.

Senior forward Cameron Butler led Southeast with a season-high 16 points. Allison and Nutt both added 13 points.

But Southeast's top scorer, junior forward Leon Powell, was held to a season-low three points while attempting just one field goal.

Powell, battling foul trouble all night, fouled out early in overtime.

Sophomore guard Marland Smith, who had scored 56 points in Southeast's previous two games, had just five points and missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. The Redhawks were 2 of 17 from beyond the arc.

"Leon struggled, Marland struggled," said coach Nutt, whose squad played its third straight game with only eight available players. "You've got to hit some shots. You've got to have guys step up."

Murphy led JSU with 19 points. The Gamecocks, the OVC's worst rebounding team at minus 2.8, pounded Southeast on the boards 46-34.

"That was the biggest key," Butler said. "I felt we played good, sound defense but you can't keep giving up second chances.

"They killed us on the glass the whole night. They got every loose ball."

Southeast, next-to-last in the OVC in free-throw shooting, also struggled in that area by making 14 of 28. Powell went 1 of 6.

The Redhawks finish their two-game homestand at 6 p.m. Saturday against Tennessee Tech in the "Show-Me Sellout" contest. It is also blackout night, with fans encouraged to wear black.

Southeast won at Tech (10-9, 6-4) 77-75 on Dec. 21. The surging Eagles are tied for fourth in the OVC.

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