SEMO’s hot shooting streak came to a sudden stop in the OVC Tournament quarterfinals. The Colonels hold the Redhawks to just 3-22 shooting from 3-point range, as EKU advances to the semifinals with an 84-69 win.
|Southeast Missouri||Eastern Kentucky|
|FG (%)||25-64 (39.1%)||21-54 (38.9%)|
|3FG (%)||3-22 (13.6%)||5-24 (20.8%)|
|FT (%)||16-18 (88.9%)||37-45 (82.2%)|
|REB (O/D)||34 (10/24)||41 (11/30)|
|POINTS:||Nino Johnson - 18||Eric Stutz - 22|
|REBOUNDS:||Tyler Stone - 9||Eric Stutz - 10|
|ASSISTS:||Lucas Nutt - 8||Mike DiNunno - 5|
Provided By Eastern Kentucky Athletics
Eric Stutz tied his career-high with 22 points and recorded a double-double as Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team beat Southeast Missouri State University, 84-69, in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
The Colonels (24-8) will face No. 2 seed Murray State (20-9) in the semifinals at 9 p.m. ET on Friday. A delayed broadcast of Friday’s semifinal game will air on ESPNU at 1:30 a.m. ET.
Stutz hit on 6-of-9 attempts from the field and 9-of-11 at the free throw line. He added 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Orlando Williams came off the bench to score 14 points and grab seven boards. Mike DiNunno added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Eastern out-rebounded Southeast 41-34.
Eastern jumped out to a 16-13 lead before the RedHawks (17-16) rolled off eight unanswered to take a 21-16 advantage with 10:20 left before halftime. However, SEMO made only three field goals, and two free throws, the rest of the half. The Colonels went to the locker room on an 11-2 run and with a 39-31 lead
EKU scored 10 of the first 14 points of the second half to stretch the run to 21-6. A lay-up by Tarius Johnson capped it and put the Colonels in front by 14, 49-35, at the 15:25 mark.
SEMO didn’t completely fade. The Redhawks rolled of nine straight to get within six, but that is as close as the margin would get. Eastern answered with another 11-4 run to go up by 12. Southeast briefly drew within nine and the Colonels led by as many as 17.
Nino Johnson led the Redhawks with 18 points.
EKU shot 39 percent from the field but made 37-of-45 attempts from the free throw line. Southeast also shot 39 percent from the field and made 16-of-18 at the stripe. The Redhawks made just 3-of-22 attempts from behind the arc and went 0-for-9 from deep in the second half.
What’s Being Said
The funny thing about this is that this wasn’t even the worst shot he took in the game…
Dunnino just took the worst shot in the history of basketball
— Papa Doc (@pestova24) March 8, 2013
This was said tonight. It didn’t last long…
SEMO is rollin #OVCSports
— Byrd Cage (@BelmontByrdCage) March 8, 2013
I knew that if SEMO stayed in this tournament long enough, their legs would probably fail them on jump shots. I just had no idea it would be this early. The Redhawks missed open three after open three, and that was just the beginning of a night of troubles.
I also didn’t realize the foul and free throw discrepancy was as bad as it was until after the game. Calls were tight all night, but Eastern Kentucky’s guards (and even Stutz) drove the ball into the lane to draw those fouls. SEMO got good passes into the lane for buckets, but it wasn’t drawing contact in the same way. Southeast Missouri Dickie Nutt opened up his postgame news conference talking about the free-throw numbers, and even mention he didn’t feel his team got a lot of calls they should have.
Had SEMO hit three’s, it might have been a different story. But with the Redhawks struggling from the floor, the fouling, while annoying and broke the pace of the game, wasn’t what caused SEMO to lose.
For Eastern Kentucky, they played about as well defensively as could be asked, and won going away despite having an off night offensively themselves. SEMO doesn’t give up many turnovers, and that was again the case tonight. EKU struggled themselves when SEMO brought a full court trap when they were closing the gap during the second half, but for some reason the Redhawks seemed to go away from it, and change to full court man defense, which was far less effective.
EKU gets Murray State, and they’ll probably want to shoot better tomorrow night. Even if Murray State struggles from three-point range, it likely won’t be as bad as SEMO did tonight, and they still can find ways to score. But if the Colonels play this well defensively again, they could easily be playing again on Saturday.