Stone hits winning shot in final seconds to lift Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team past Southeastern Louisiana

Sunday, December 4, 2011
Southeast Missouri State's Marland Smith takes a shot over Southeastern Louisiana's Jan Petrovcic during the second half Saturday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

The Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team had to work a lot harder than planned for Saturday's win.

But the Redhawks weren't complaining after their 63-61 overtime victory over visiting Southeastern Louisiana.

Southeast saw a 54-45 second-half lead evaporate in the last three minutes when the Lions scored the final nine points in regulation.

The Redhawks then squeezed out the victory when sophomore forward Tyler Stone hit a short left-handed bank shot with 4.7 seconds left to break a 61-61 tie.

"We toughed it out and got the win," Stone said.

An announced Show Me Center crowd of 1,918 saw the Redhawks improve to 4-4 while dropping the Lions to 4-3.

"It was really a quality win against a good team," Southeast coach Dickey Nutt said. "We could have ducked our head after regulation, but everybody really hung tough. I thought everybody who played played well."

Southeast gained possession with 25 seconds left in the five-minute extra session after a Southeastern Louisiana miss.

The Redhawks ran time off the clock before senior point guard Logan Nutt, who has seen limited action this year but played 11 minutes off the bench, found Stone with a nice pass near the basket.

Stone made a quick turn and deposited the ball in the hoop. Lions senior guard Brandon Fortenberry air-balled a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

"That was a great pass," Stone said about Nutt's assist. "I was just thinking fundamentals -- go up quick with the left hand."

Stone had his first double-double at Southeast with 18 points and a career-best 17 rebounds.

"Tyler was a monster," coach Nutt said.

Southeast got a big lift off the bench from junior guard Marland Smith and junior college transfer guard Corey Wilford. Both scored 11 points.

Wilford scored four of Southeast's nine points in overtime, all on free throws. His two foul shots just 23 seconds into the extra period gave the Redhawks a 56-54 lead. They never trailed in overtime, although the Lions forged three ties.

"Corey had some great minutes," coach Nutt said.

Wilford had scored just 14 points all season and only had played four minutes in the past three games. He played 34 minutes Saturday.

"It felt real good," Wilford said about his extensive playing time.

Senior forward Leon Powell matched Stone in getting a double-double. Powell had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Southeast, which led 33-25 at halftime and went ahead by 10 points early in the second half, appeared to be in good shape with a 54-45 advantage before the Lions rallied.

The Redhawks had a chance to win in regulation when senior guard Marcus Brister was fouled driving to the basket with 1.4 seconds left. But he missed both free throws and it was on to overtime.

"We had a good lead, but we let it slip away," Powell said.

Southeast's defense had one of its better performances of the young season by holding the Lions to 36.2 percent shooting.

The Redhawks' defense was highlighted by the job the Redhawks did on Fortenberry, who entered the night as the Southland Conference's No. 2 scorer with an 18.2 average.

Fortenberry was guarded most of the way by Brister, with several other Southeast players also taking turns.

Fortenberry scored 14 points but made only 4 of 16 field-goal attempts.

"I thought our defense was really good tonight," coach Nutt said.

Southeast shot just 37.7 percent but made 21 of 28 free throws for 75 percent. The Redhawks came in shooting only 61.2 percent from the line.

The Lions hurt themselves from the charity stripe, making 15 of 24 (62.5 percent).

Southeast starting sophomore point guard Lucas Nutt played just eight minutes. Coach Nutt said Lucas took a knee to the thigh during a recent practice and that continued to bother him Saturday.

Southeast visits Central Arkansas on Monday for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

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