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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Show Me Center (6,972) -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: TTU 4-3, SEMO 6-3. Away Record: TTU 3-7, SEMO 3-5. Neutral Record: TTU 0-0, SEMO 1-2. Conference Record: TTU 1-4, SEMO 2-4. Series Record: Tennessee Tech leads, 31-13.
GAME NOTES: The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks will try halt their season- long, four-game losing streak on Saturday night, as they do battle with the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles in Ohio Valley Conference action at the Show Me Center.
SEMO has been up-and-down all year on its way to a 10-10 record (2-4 in the OVC), as it already has three winning streaks of three games or longer. The Redhawks' most recent skid continued on Thursday night when they were saddled with a 75-59 defeat at the hands of Morehead State to fall to 6-3 at home.
TTU most recently traveled to SIU Edwardsville and suffered a 58-54 defeat to drop to 1-4 in OVC competition. It was the Eagles' sixth loss in their last seven contests, and they now sit at 7-10 overall after starting the season a promising 6-4.
TTU won both matchups against SEMO last year, including in the second round of the OVC Tournament (77-73) to take a 31-13 advantage in the all-time series.
The Eagles stood up to SIUE at the defensive end of the floor, holding it to less than 40 percent field goal efficiency, but the only problem was they could not take advantage when they had the ball. They shot just 34 percent from the field, including 3-of-20 from 3-point range, while committing 21 turnovers in the four-point setback. Jud Dillard did all he could to keep TTU in the game, posting 29 points and 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. The 6-foot-5 guard ranks second in the OVC in scoring (19.8) and fifth in rebounding (7.7), and those numbers have ballooned to 28.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg in the past three games. Jeremia Samarrippas contributes 9.8 ppg and ranks in the top-10 in the league in both assists (4.1) and steals (1.6). As a team, TTU puts together a respectable .431 field goal percentage, but its 64.9 ppg is just ninth-best in the conference.
SEMO actually outshot Morehead State from the field in its latest outing, 45.8 percent to 40.7 percent, but it still fell by double-digits by badly losing the rebounding battle (45-23) and shooting a lackluster 12-of-21 from the free-throw line. Nino Johnson was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor, but drained only 3-of-9 from the stripe on his way to 13 points, while Lucas Nutt and Tyler Stone contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. Although there is a large discrepancy between the Redhawks' season field goal percentage (.455) and that of their opponents (.399), they still score 70.8 ppg for just a +0.7 scoring margin due to negative turnover (minus-2.1) and rebounding (minus-0.5) margins. SEMO is lucky enough to have one of the best forward duos in the OVC in Stone and Johnson. Stone ranks sixth in the league in scoring (16.5 ppg) while adding 8.0 rpg, and Johnson (11.8 ppg) ranks second in both rebounding (9.4) and blocks (2.5). Corey Wilford stretches the floor from the backcourt with 13.5 ppg on 42.6 percent 3-point shooting (.426).
Not much has gone right for SEMO of late, but it will certainly welcome a home date against a struggling TTU squad. Expect the Redhawks to use their advantage in the paint to take care of business against the Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southeast Missouri 72, Tennessee Tech 62
01/19 10:35:11 ET