Southern Illinois University Edwardsville drained 13 3-pointers Thursday and five SIUE players scored in double figures as SIUE outlasted Southeast Missouri 93-88 in overtime in Ohio Valley Conference basketball at Vadalabene Center.
“This is a great win for us,” SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. “Any time you can get a win against a team as dangerous and talented as Southeast, that’s huge. This is a big win our program and athletic department.”
The win is the fifth consecutive home win for the Cougars, who improved to 5-5 in OVC play and 9-14 overall. SIUE is now 4-1 in OVC play at the Vadalabene Center. Southeast Missouri fell to 3-7 in the OVC and 12-12 overall.
Trailing 77-74 and coming out of a timeout with 41 seconds left in regulation, SIUE ran a play for Kris Davis, who curled off a screen. Donivine Stewart found Davis on the left wing. Davis caught the pass and nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score at 77.
Southeast Missouri’s Tyler Stone got to the basket and hit a layup to put the Redhawks up 79-77 with 12 seconds left. After an SIUE timeout, Stewart found Keaton Jackson on the right baseline. Jackson connected on a layup with 0.6 seconds left to tie the score at 79 and send the game into overtime.
“Once I hit the (game-tying) shot, I was just thinking about overtime,” Jackson said. “We knew they never should have let us back in it.”
The game was tied at 36 at halftime, and it was the Redhawks who came out strong to start the second half. Southeast controlled the game and led for the better part of the period, pushing its lead to eight (53-45) after a free throw by Jarekious Bradely with 12:32 left in regulation.
SIUE converted on 4 of 5 attempts from the field, including both 3-point attempts, to outscore Southeast 14-9 in the extra period. Christian Salecich drained his career-best fourth 3-pointer of the game to open the overtime scoring for the Cougars, making it 82-79 less than a minute into the period. Rozell Nunn’s fourth 3-pointer of the game (also a career high) made it 89-83 SIUE with 1:34 left in the overtime.
Stone cut the SIUE lead to 91-88 with a 3-pointer for Southeast Missouri with 48 seconds remaining in overtime. It was still 91-88 when Bradley missed a 3-point attempt from the top of the key with just seven seconds left. Jackson hauled in the rebound after the miss and handed off to Stewart who was fouled. He sealed the win with a pair of free throws with five seconds to play.
Stewart turned in a double-double with 11 points and a career-best 11 assists. It was the first double-double of the season by a Cougar player.
“Donivine was great in his role tonight,” Forrester said. “He knows that he can get assists, but he can score too. We rarely call plays for him, but every time you look at the stat sheet, he’s in double digits in shot attempts. Tonight he was able to make baskets but still get 11 assists.”
Nunn led the Cougars in scoring with a career-high 21 points. He was 8 of 12 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Jackson scored 16 points, 14 in the second half. Salecich was two shy of his career high with 14 points.
“I believe in team basketball, where there isn’t just one guy scoring; it’s an entire team effort,” Forrester added. “I’m just so happy that all the guys were making shots tonight. It was a balanced offensive attack.”
Stone led all scorers with a career-best 37 points on 15-of-19 shooting. Bradley, who came in averaging 20.7 points per game was limited to 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting.
“We tried to take away Bradley’s scoring,” Forrester said. “Then Stone goes for 37 (points). That’s what makes them so tough; it’s difficult to stop their whole team.”
For the game, SIUE hit 32 of 65 attempts from the field for 49.2 percent. The Cougars were 13 of 25 from three-point range and are 24 of 53 (.452) from long range in two games this season against Southeast Missouri. The Redhawks finished the night 36 of 65 (55.4 percent) from the field.
SIUE remains home to play host to UT Martin in an 8 p.m. contest Saturday night. The game can be seen live on FOX Sports Midwest.