As Bradley falls, so do Redhawks
The Southeast Missouri State University men's basketball team "didn't overcome adversity," according to coach Dickey Nutt on Wednesday after a 79-70 loss to Ohio Valley conference foe, University of Tennessee-Martin.
Jakerious Bradley went to the ground with fourteen minutes, forty-six seconds remaining in the first half and needed help being carried off of the court. He later returned to the bench with ice on his left knee and did not return to the game. Coach Nutt said that the team is unsure of the injury and that they will know more in a couple of days. He continued to say that team doctors are optimistic and don't believe it to be a tear of any sort.
"Well, naturally, we're disappointed. When Jarekious Bradley went down, we absolutely went flat," Nutt said. "I told our basketball team, 'Hey, this is the perfect opportunity for someone else to step up.'"
Senior forward Tyler Stone did step up with 21 points on the board and 16 total rebounds, but the effort still wasn't enough.
"We have to have energy. We can't play when everyone's head is to the ground," Stone said. "We had a lack of intensity."
Nutt took notice of Stone's individual performance, but was disappointed by the team's overall play.
"I thought Tyler Stone played really hard, but I just didn't think anybody else matched his level," Nutt said. "I just thought that for whatever reason we played tight, we played as if we had pressure on us, and we played with a lack of confidence."
The Redhawks did, however, keep the game close throughout, after losing an 18-10 lead halfway through the first half. The two teams continued to trade baskets, and after a game tying slam dunk by Stone late in the first half, it seemed as though momentum was on the Redhawk's side. UT Martin was not phased, however, and took a 33-30 lead into halftime.
The Redhawk defense played good enough to keep the Skyhawks within striking distance, but the offense was never able to come together and pull away. After a 0-9 performance from the 3-point line in the first half, the Redhawk offense was only able to bury 38.5 percent of their 3-point attempts in the second half.
"They put a 3-2 zone on us and we couldn't crack it. We couldn't hit a shot." Nutt said of his offense. "Defensively we were holding them. We held them to 37 percent in the first half. We held them to 41 percent for the game. That's good enough, but offensively that's where we struggled today."
Junior guard Josh Langford, who put up 14 points for the game, joined Stone in accounting for half of the Redhawk offense combining for a total of 35 points.
Ultimately, the Skyhawks outplayed and defeated the Redhawks who now have a 4-8 conference record and a 13-13 overall record with just 4 games left in the season.
The Redhawks play next against Jacksonville State at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Show Me Center and then will seek redemption against UT Martin on their home court on Feb 22.