The Redhawks used a 50 point first half to jump on the Tennessee Martin Skyhawks and win their third straight game with a 96-74 win. It was a game that saw 3 Redhawks score at least 20, as guards Lucas Nutt, Marland Smith and Nick Niemczyk led SEMO to the win. On the other side it was Terrence Smith who scored a career high 26 points in the game but it wasn’t enough as the Redhawks used the three ball with precision 12 times and wouldn’t let the game get too close.
The three ball was very nice in the opening twenty for the Redhawks as they shot an amazing 10-16 from the arc. Smith opened the game with back to back threes from both corners to give the Redhawks the early lead as the Redhawks would be up 12-6 at the first media timeout. The scoring continued for Southeast Missouri as they continued to find the open man against the Skyhawk zone and the shots kept falling. Smith’s fellow guard Nutt got into the triple action as he shot only 4 shots, all from deep and drained 3 in the opening half. This was SEMO’s 5th time this season scoring 50 points in a half, but their first this season to take place in the opening 20 minutes.
What was supposed to be the star matchup of Tyler Stone and Myles Taylor, became a who could stay on the floor as it was dominated mainly by the referees as both men picked up fouls early and spend half the half on the bench. When they were on the floor however, it was Taylor doing the scoring and Stone doing the rebounding. The second half battle between Taylor and Stone was short lived as Stone fouled out with more than 10 minutes left in the game. Stone would finish the night with 2pts and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes. Taylor would come up just short from another double double with 11pts and 9rebound.
The hot shooting would continue for the Skyhawks in the second half as they would shoot 62%. The Skyhawks would make a run getting within 11 before the Redhawks would drain another arc shot. The second half was controlled by Mike Niemczyk who took advantage of the foul plagued Wilford. Niemczyk would score a season high 18 points, with 10 coming in the second half. The Redhawks would pull away in the final 5 minutes trying to reach triple digits would come up just short.
While the rebounding battle was tied at 38 each, the Redhawks allowed 19 offensive boards and gave UTM 19 second chance points in the loss. The Redhawks outscored the Skyhawk bench 34-14 due in large part to Niemczyk.
Nashville wise this pretty much books the Redhawks for Nashville as they pick up their 6th OVC win. For the Skyhawks they become team that needs wins, I project at a minimum 2 to get the Nashville. That is still possible given SIUE’s play and schedule compared to UTM’s.