Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team wary of New Orleans in rematch

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt said every opponent concerns him.

Especially one that the Redhawks already have beaten handily on the road.

The Redhawks (6-6) return to action for the first time since Dec. 8 when New Orleans (3-6) visits the Show Me Center today for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Southeast rolled past the Privateers 83-67 on Nov. 29 in New Orleans. Today's rematch completes a unique nonconference home-and-home series between the programs.

"I'm always very concerned about a team we already handled once this year, how our players are going to approach it," Nutt said.

Nutt believes what happened in Southeast's most recent outing will help the Redhawks' focus for New Orleans.

The Redhawks suffered their first home loss of the season Dec. 8, falling 88-85 to an athletic, hot-shooting Central Arkansas squad that Nutt believes is similar to New Orleans.

"I do think that was a wake-up call. I think they're still sick to their stomach," said Nutt, whose team is 3-1 at the Show Me Center this season. "We have their attention. We thought, just because we're at home, things will fall into place for us.

"It doesn't work that way. You've got to come ready to play every night out and respect every team you play or anybody can beat you. I don't think we'll be overlooking anybody any more."

Southeast had its way inside against New Orleans in the earlier meeting, and the Redhawks shot well from outside.

Junior forward Tyler Stone and sophomore forward Nino Johnson, both having strong seasons, recorded double-doubles against the Privateers.

Stone had 23 points and 14 rebounds. Johnson added 11 points and 11 rebounds. They combined for seven blocked shots.

Despite the 16-point margin of victory, Southeast led just 40-34 at halftime and only 44-40 early in the second half before the Redhawks took control for good.

Lovell Cook, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, is the Privateers' top scorer with a 14.4-point average. He's shooting 62.5 percent from the field.

Rarlensee Nelson, a 5-8 senior point guard, is among the nation's leaders in assists with 68 against 28 turnovers. He scored a career-high 17 points against Southeast.

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