GAMES NOTES: The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks will try to keep hold of a
spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament when they visit the Austin Peay
Governors for a league tussle at the Dunn Center on Thursday night.
Of the 12 teams in the OVC, only eight move on to play in the conference
tournament. Currently SEMO is 6-8 in league action which has it in seventh in
the overall league standings while second in the West Division with two games
left to play. The Redhawks have won three of their last four league bouts to
give themselves some breathing room though they will face off with one of the
top teams in the conference next time out against Murray State.
As for the Governors their postseason hopes died officially with a 91-53 loss
in their last conference bout against Eastern Kentucky. The Governors are just
3-11 in league play which is the worst record in the OVC in total as is their
overall mark of 7-22. Austin Peay has lost 10 of its last 12 games overall
including five straight games at the Dunn Center. In a battle of the two
bottom teams in the OVC, Austin Peay will face Tennessee-Martin in its season
When these teams met back in early January, SEMO held off a late run from
Austin Peay to collect an 86-84 victory. The win was the second in the last
three meetings between these teams for the Redhawks who still trail the all-
time series by a sizable, 32-17, margin.
A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Ball State's Jauwan Scaife sent SEMO to a loss in
its BracketBusters matchup with the Cardinals last time out. The Redhawks had
rallied from a 10-point deficit to knot the game at 82-82 with seven seconds
left on a 3-pointer from Marland Smith, but the buzzer beater derailed the
As a team SEMO is among the better offensive squads in the OVC. The Redhawks
rank fourth in the conference in scoring (72.7 ppg), while handing out the
third most assists (14.9 pg) and shooting the third best percentage from the
field (.461). The Redhawks lead the OVC in rebounds (37.2 rpg). Tyler Stone
(15.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg) leads the scoring attack while serving as a more than
capable rebounder. Nino Johnson (11.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.6 bpg) hasn't been as
big a scorer as his frontcourt battery mate but he ranks second in the
conference in both rebounds and blocks. Corey Wilford (14.3 ppg) is another
strong scorer, while Lucas Nutt (5.9 ppg, 4.8 apg) is among the top 10 in
assists in the conference.
Austin Peay also lost in heartbreaking fashion in its BracketBusters bout with
Liberty. The Governors dropped the 79-73 decision in overtime by shooting just
29.6 percent in the second half to give up an eight-point halftime advantage.
In overtime the Governors missed five shots from the free-throw line and hit
just 3-of-10 from the field.
The Governors have been a terrible defensive team this season. They are lit up
for 76 points per game, while allowing teams to shoot over 45 percent from the
field. That has taken away from an otherwise strong effort they have put forth
offensively, netting 70.6 points per game, on 45.3 percent from the floor.
Travis Betran (17.2 ppg) is one of the better pure scorers in the OVC, ranking
fourth in that category. Betran is especially dangerous from 3-point range,
where he shoots better than 40 percent. Anthony Campbell (14.6 ppg) is a more
than capable second option, while Will Triggs (11.9 ppg) ranks third. Chris
Horton (8.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.9 rpg) leads the team in rebounds and the
conference in blocks.
With its spot in the OVC Tournament already assured there won't be as much
urgency from SEMO. Perhaps that will open the door for a surprise win for