Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team concludes CBE Classic with loss

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Redhawks find items stolen from locker room after 59-56 loss to Troy

Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt didn't like much about his team's final game at the CBE Classic.

Troy led most of the way Tuesday afternoon and posted a 59-56 victory in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Redhawks used a late 9-0 run to forge a 56-56 tie, but Troy junior guard Antoine Myers hit a tough layup that Nutt described as a "prayer" with six seconds left. He was fouled and converted the three-point play.

Southeast fell to 3-3 after dropping two of three games during the Chattanooga portion of the CBE Classic. The Redhawks fell to Louisiana Tech on Monday after beating host Chattanooga on Sunday.

Troy, which won just 10 games last season, improved to 3-2 with its second straight CBE Classic victory.

"We didn't deserve it. We didn't come out ready to play. Sleepwalking. ... I was very disappointed in our performance," Nutt said. "That's been our problem so far, coming out ready to play. We really have to fix it."

Nutt said Southeast's struggles continued following the game when several players had items stolen from the locker room.

"To add misery to insult, we get back to our dressing room and got a bunch of stuff stolen, radios, head sets, things like that," Nutt said. "It was a bad night."

The Trojans scored the game's first four points. Southeast came back with seven straight points but Troy answered with a 10-0 run to go up 14-7 and the Redhawks fought an uphill battle the rest of the way.

Troy's biggest advantage was 24-11, and the Trojans led 34-24 at the break thanks in part to 11 Southeast turnovers. Troy had a 16-0 edge in points off turnovers in the opening period.

Southeast had a much stronger second half, forging a 45-45 tie on a 3-pointer by senior guard Corey Wilford with just under nine minutes remaining.

Troy surged ahead again and appeared to have control, leading 56-47 with under three minutes left.

The Redhawks stormed back with nine straight points, capped by Wilford's 3-pointer with 40 seconds left for a 56-56 tie. It was Wilford's fifth 3-point basket of the second half.

"We played much better in the second half," Nutt said. "I was really proud of the way the guys fought back. We had our chances."

Troy ran most of the shot clock down until Myers drove to the basket and banked his shot high off the glass in traffic while being fouled.

"He hit a prayer. It was unbelievable," Nutt said.

Nutt said Southeast tried to free up Wilford for a potential tying 3-pointer but the Trojans were all over him. Junior point guard Lucas Nutt ended up having to take a desperation 3-pointer that was well off the mark.

"We tried to get ball to Corey, but they shut it off," Dickey Nutt said.

Wilford had his third straight big performance off the bench with 20 points -- 19 in the second half. He hit 5 of 11 from beyond the arc.

Wilford poured in a career-high 21 points Sunday against Chattanooga and followed with 16 points Monday against Louisiana Tech.

"He's playing really well," Nutt said. "He has one speed, and that's as hard as he can play."

Junior forward Tyler Stone had his third consecutive double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Senior guard Nick Niemczyk added 10 points. Lucas Nutt dished out six assists.

Troy was paced by Myers with 14 points.

Southeast shot just 36.5 percent from the field but hurt itself even more from the free-throw line, making only 7 of 16 (43.8 percent). The Redhawks entered the contest shooting better than 70 percent from the line.

"I spoke too soon about our good free-throw shooting," Nutt said.

The Trojans, who shot 38.3 percent, had just five turnovers compared to 13 for Southeast. The Redhawks had only two turnovers in the second half.

Troy, despite being smaller, outscored Southeast 26-12 in the paint.

Southeast plays its fourth straight game away from home Saturday, visiting Illinois-Chicago (3-1).

"We'll regroup and go back to work," Nutt said. "I still believe in our team. I still like our team. We just have to fix a lot of issues."

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