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Redhawks Defeat Cougars

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Two big runs in the first half Monday night were enough for Southeast Missouri State to defeat Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 83-63 in men's basketball at the Vadalabene Center.

"I thought we buried ourselves early," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "We just didn't do what we were supposed to tonight."

SIUE, 6-19, built an early lead after a Kevin Stineman three-point basket with 15:02 to play before half made it 11-6 Cougars. From there, the Redhawks took over.

SEMO, 7-17, went on a 15-0 run capped by a Leon Powell jumper with 10:22 left in the period that put the Redhawks up 21-11. SIUE fought back with a 9-2 run of its own to make it 23-20 with 7:56 to play in the first, but Southeast had an answer.

The Redhawks stretched their lead to 12 with a 9-0 run that made it 32-20. SEMO led by 12, 45-33, at the break. SEMO shot 60.6 percent (20-33) from the field in the first half.

The second half began ominously for the Cougars, who turned the ball over just 15 seconds into the period. Marland Smith converted on a layup to extend the lead to 14. The turnover was one of 15 for the Cougars.

Smith led all scorers with 27 points. He was one of five Redhawks in double figures Monday night.

The closest the Cougars would come to Southeast the rest of the night was 11 points, at 67-56, when Dob Mavrak hit one of two free throws with 6:27 left in the game.

Southeast won the rebounding battle, 38-28. The Redhawks converted 11 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points. They also outscored SIUE 38-18 in the paint.

"Give credit to SEMO," Forrester added. "They did a good job outworking us. We gave up way to many easy baskets."

Southeast shot 56.6 percent (30-53) from the field for the game.

Cornelius Chatt led the Cougars in scoring for the fourth time in five games. Chatt scored 14 points. Nikola Bundalo and Michael Messer each finished with 11 points. Stineman scored 10 in the loss.

Bundalo's 11 moved the Cougar senior into 21st place on the school's all-time scoring list with 832 career points. Bundalo needs just 18 points to crack the top 20.

The Cougars remain home to host Robert Morris-Springfield Saturday at the Vadalabene Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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