Southeast Missouri (2-6, 0-2) matched a season-low in points and had 19 turnovers in a 72-63 loss to Tennessee Tech (1-9, 1-2) Wednesday night at the Eblen Center.
SEMO, which suffered its fifth-straight loss, struggled from the start.
The Redhawks again fell behind early as TTU scored the first six points of the contest.
After Damaria Franklin’s layup gave the Golden Eagles a double-digit lead at 15-5, the Redhawks used a 9-0 run to pull within one. Nygal Russell got a steal and layup to make it a 15-14 game with 11:41 remaining in the first half.
TTU immediately answered with a 9-0 surge of its own to regain a double-digit advantage. The Redhawks were scoreless for nearly four-and-a-half minutes and went four-straight possessions without a shot while the Golden Eagles pulled ahead, 24-10.
The Golden Eagles, who missed 11 of their first 12 three-pointers, made their final three from long range to stretch their lead to 38-23 at the half.
No SEMO player scored more than three points in a first half flooded by 12 turnovers. The 23 points were the Redhawks fewest in a first half through eight games this season.
Chris Harris scored a layup, was fouled and completed his 3-point play to narrow TTU’s lead to 50-44 at the 10:55 mark. Eric Reed, Jr. later did the same, this time pulling SEMO within four (56-52) with 6:39 left.
That, however, was as close as SEMO would get.
The Redhawks were within two possessions a total of six times in the final 4:39 of the game, but couldn’t catch the Golden Eagles.
SEMO shot 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the field and 57.1 percent (8-of-14) at the free throw line. The Redhawks, who never led, turned the ball over 18 or more times for the third time in five games. SEMO has also gone without a lead since the 1:12 mark in the first half of its game vs. UT Martin on Dec. 18.
Reed, Jr., who returned to the starting lineup, led the Redhawks with 14 points. Harris followed with 11, his seventh double-digit scoring performance in eight starts this year.
Nana Akenten added nine rebounds and DQ Nicholas dished out a career-high eight assists.
Jr. Clay finished with a game-high 22 points, including 11 at the free throw line, to lead TTU. Amadou Sylla chipped in 13 points as the Golden Eagles shot 48.1 percent (25-of-52) for the night.
SEMO rings in the New Year when it hosts Tennessee State Saturday. Tip is set for 5 p.m., CT at the Show Me Center.