Southeast Missouri (4-10) ended the Las Vegas Classic with a 78-62 loss to Ivy League member Cornell (3-8) Friday afternoon at Orleans Arena.
SEMO, which is on a seven-game losing streak, fell to its 10th loss of the season.
Four Redhawks scored double figures led by Jaylen Benton’s season-high 16 points. Freshman Tahj Eaddy followed with a season-best 13 points off the bench, while Antonius Cleveland and Milos Vranes added 12 and 10, respectively.
Cornell got off to a red-hot start making six of its first seven field goals with four 3-pointers to build an early 16-4 lead. Matt Morgan keyed the Big Red with three 3-pointers and 13 points in his first nine minutes.
Down 33-22 with 5:45 remaining, SEMO outscored Cornell, 11-4, in the next 4:43. Eaddy and Benton each hit a 3-pointer at the end of the jaunt to make it a 37-33 game. The Redhawks managed to get 11 points off nine Cornell turnovers.
Robert Hatter’s layup with one second on the clock sent the Big Red into the locker room with a 39-33 lead.
SEMO missed its first 15 field goals of the second half and went scoreless for a period of seven minutes. Cornell took advantage of the Redhawks shooting woes and used a 12-1 run to take its largest lead, 51-34, at the 12:29 mark.
The Redhawks managed to dice Cornell’s led to eight on Benton’s free throws with 5:53 to go, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Benton went a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line to key his second double-digit game of the season.
Eaddy, who didn’t make a field goal in his previous three games, drained three 3-pointers and made 2-of-2 free throws in 21 minutes.
Cleveland left the game with a bruised hip and elbow in the first half, but did return. He scored nine first-half points en route to scoring double figures for the 24th-consecutive time.
Vranes paved the way with a team-high seven rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench.
SEMO shot 31 percent (18-of-58) from the field and went just 7-of-30 (23.3 pct.) in the second half. The Redhawks were also outrebounded, 41-29.
Morgan pitched in a game-high 21 points and Hatter turned in a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead Cornell. Fellow starters Stone Gettings (16) and Troy Whiteside (11) scored double figures, as well.
The Big Red shot 57.7 (15-of-26) percent in the first half and wound up with a 51.8 percent clip for the day.
SEMO breaks for the Christmas holiday before hosting Henderson State on Dec. 29.