Southeast inept at both ends in OVC opener

Southeast Missouri State sophomore guard Alex Caldwell

Itís nice for a basketball team to play good defense and force its opponent into missing a shot but if the defensive team doesnít grab the rebound to close out that possession, all the effort in the world can be for naught.

The Southeast Missouri State menís basketball squad didnít do either satisfactorily Thursday in its Ohio Valley Conference opener at Austin Peay Thursday.

The Redhawks allowed the Governors to make nearly half of their shots and the ones that the hosts missed Southeast failed to grab with any frequency, as it fell 78-63.

Austin Peay (7-7, 1-0 OVC) missed 28 shots on the night and Southeast (4-10, 0-1) could grab just 15 of those, as the Governors hauled in 15 offensive rebounds.

Of the 30 missed shots by the Redhawks, the Governors grabbed 26 of them.

The Redhawksí leading rebounder had just four boards (sophomore forward Sage Tolbert).

Not only did Southeast struggle defensively, but it was also just as inept offensively.

With just over eight minutes remaining in the opening half, Southeast cut its deficit to 27-22 on a 3-pointer from junior forward Isaiah Gable. However, the Redhawks would score just two more points before halftime, as the Governors scored 10 unanswered points as part of a 14-2 run to take a 41-24 halftime lead.

The second half wasnít any better.

Austin Peay stretched its advantage to 25 points on a couple of occasions and never allowed the Redhawks to get any closer than the final margin of 15 points.

The Governors connected on 49 percent of their shots and an impressive 48 percent from 3-point range.

They crushed Southeast on the glass 41-21.

Sophomore guard Alex Caldwell paced the Redhawks with 12 points, while freshman guard DQ Nicholas and fifth-year senior Skyler Hogan had 11 each.

A couple of positives to take from the outing was that Southeast hit 8 of 10 free throws and turned the ball over just 11 times.

Southeast will visit Murray State Saturday at 4 p.m.

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