Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team wins third consecutive game

Monday, November 19, 2012

A huge performance off the bench by senior guard Corey Wilford paved the way for the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team to notch its first road win of the season.

Wilford scored all of his career-high 21 points in the second half Sunday as the Redhawks pulled away from Chattanooga 77-65 in the CBE Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Southeast improved to 3-1 with its third straight victory, all by at least 11 points. It's the first time the Redhawks have posted three consecutive wins by double figures since the 2007-08 season.

"It was a good win for us," Southeast coach Dickey Nutt said. "I told the team that Chattanooga has a really good tradition and they're tough to beat in this building."

Wilford played virtually the entire second half, a good portion at point guard, after junior point guard Lucas Nutt picked up his fourth foul 20 seconds into the final period.

Wilford hit 3 of 6 3-pointers and 6 of 10 field-goal attempts. He also was 6 of 6 on free throws. He added five rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal against only one turnover.

"Corey came in and played very, very well. He really gave us a spark in the second half," Dickey Nutt said. "He not only scored but he ran our team, and that was a good thing."

The Redhawks won going away despite having several key players in foul trouble. Sophomore forward Nino Johnson and senior guard Nick Niemczyk joined Lucas Nutt in picking up their fourth fouls early in the second half. None of the three fouled out.

Senior guard Marland Smith, coming off the bench after starting Southeast's first three games, scored 16 points. He hit 6 of 9 field goals, including 2 of 5 from beyond the arc.

"We mixed the lineup up a little bit. I thought Marland came in and did a good job," Nutt said. "When Lucas gets into foul trouble, it really helps to have guys like Corey and Marland to pick up the slack and handle the ball."

Junior forward Tyler Stone had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Stone made 6 of 10 shots and 4 of 4 free throws. He also had three assists and two blocks.

"I have to commend Tyler. They double and triple teamed him and he threw out of that," Nutt said. "He defended and rebounded, and he still got a double-double."

Junior college transfer guard A.J. Jones had 10 points and three assists. He hit 2 of 3 from 3-point range.

Johnson added seven points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

The Redhawks shot a blistering 69.6 percent in the second half (16 of 23) and finished the game at 55.3 percent (26 of 47). They made 8 of 20 3-pointers (40 percent).

"We showed a lot of patience offensively," Nutt said.

Southeast continued its strong free-throw shooting after struggling in that area last year. The Redhawks made 17 of 20 from the charity stripe, a sizzling 85 percent. They entered the day shooting 75 percent at the line.

"That's been a big difference in our team so far this year," Nutt said. "I said over the summer we were going to be a much better free-throw shooting team."

Southeast also had its fourth straight strong defensive performance, holding the Mocs to 32.8-percent shooting (21 of 64).

"I thought our defense was really solid once again," Nutt said.

Southeast scored the game's first seven points and never trailed.

"It just gives you that confidence," Nutt said about the strong start. "It all started with our defense."

Chattanooga (1-2) pulled into an 11-11 tie. Jones put the Redhawks back on top, his 3-pointer midway through the opening half making it 14-11. They never relinquished the lead.

Niemczyk's two free throws with seven-tenths of a second left before halftime sent Southeast to the intermission with a 29-23 lead.

The Mocs cut the deficit to 31-29, but Southeast went on a 13-1 run to build a 44-30 advantage and seize control for good. The Redhawks' biggest lead was 17 points.

"Overall it was a really good performance for us," Nutt said.

Southeast continues play in the CBE Classic today at 3:30 p.m. against Louisiana Tech. The Redhawks conclude the event Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. against Troy.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: