Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO men’s basketball defeats Henderson State University 76-61 in exhibition

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Junior guard Aquan Smart (3) drives past a Henderson State defender during SEMO's 76-61 on Oct. 23 at the Show-Me Center. Smart finished the contest as SEMO's leading scorer with 16 points.
Photo by Nathan Gladden

SEMO basketball defeated the division II Henderson State Reddies 76-61 on Oct. 23 in a pre-season exhibition game.

The Redhawks fell behind 22-16 in the early going, but climbed back, eventually tying the game at 22 when junior guard TJ Biel caught a lob from sophomore guard Braxton Stacker.

The Redhawks would never trail again from that point and entered the half leading 38-35.

SEMO was led in scoring by junior guard Aquan Smart, finishing with 16 points adding six assists, six rebounds and one block. SEMO head coach Brad Korn said Smart is set for an expanded role in his second year i

“We understand who he is second year in the program. So he’s familiar with the system, he trusts us,” Korn said. “He’s got to expand his role. He doesn’t have to do anything outside of himself. What he can do on a day-to-day is good enough for us.”

The Redhawks were without junior forward Kobe Clark and sophomore guard Rob Martin. Clark missed the final 15 games with a knee injury, but coach Korn said the knee is healed for Clark.

“The knee is actually, for all intents and purposes, okay. He has a procedure done on his hand. It’s kind of in the webbing of his hands, so that’s kind of a tricky spot,” Korn said. “It’s kind of a maybe one or two weeks and we’ll see where he’s at.”

Martin is a transfer from Indiana State, but Redhawks fans should not have to wait too long to see Martin on the court.

“It’s one of those situations where if it as the end of the season or championship game, he could probably give you some minutes, but again we want to be smart in working him back,” Korn said. “I don’t expect him to be out anything past the opener.”

Although Martin was not in action, there were more than a few new Redhawks that made their debut. These included sophomore guard Braxton Stacker, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals and another was junior guard TJ Biel, adding 10 points and four rebounds.

Senior forward Josh Early said the preparation from practice prepared these newcomers for their matchup.

“I thought they did good. I thought we prepared pretty good. We go hard, we are energetic and practice, we show up everyday. So I mean, the outcome isn’t surprising,” Early said.

The Redhawks will officially begin their season on Nov. 6 at Grand Canyon University Arena when they face the Grand Canyon Antelopes.