Southeast Missouri St. got some national exposure Monday and took advantage of it with a 68-62 win over Eastern Kentucky at the Show-Me Center. The home game was televised on ESPNU.
Early on SEMO had trouble getting things going, as the Colonels jumped out to an 8-0 lead. The Redhawks responded with an 8-0 run of their own to tie the game. With 6:48 to go in the half, Southeast Missouri St. took the lead when Andrais Thornton converted on a lay up to give SEMO a 17-15 advantage. The Redhawks led 32-22 after the first half.
In the second half, the Redhawks never trailed, but Eastern Kentucky made them sweat on more than one occasion. Michael Brock hit a three pointer for the Colonels with 12:20 to go that cut SEMO’s lead to 42-41. Lay ups from Paul Paradoski and Waylon Francis helped the Redhawks build the lead back up to five points.
With 7:11 remaining, Eastern Kentucky’s Alonzo Hird hit two free throwscut SEMO’s lead 48-47. On the next trip down, Roy Booker drained a three to give SEMO a four-point lead with 6:39 to go. The Colonels got back to within three, but never got any closer.
Booker led a balanced scoring attack for the Redhawks with 18 points. Paradoski and Terrick Willoughby had 13 apiece, while Thornton added 12 points to go with his game-high 13 rebounds. Jason McLeish had 21 for Eastern Kentucky, while Matt Witt added 19.
SEMO is now 5-7 on the season and 2-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference, while EKU dropped to 4-7 and 2-3.