SEMO blocks late Golden Eagle rally, defeats Tech, 65-61

SEMO blocks late Golden Eagle rally, defeats Tech, 65-61

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – A last-second 3-point attempt by Jordan Johnson was blocked and Southeast Missouri grabbed the rebound with under two seconds to play Saturday night as the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team (9-10, 1-5) fell to the Redhawks (9-10, 3-3) in Cape Girardeau, Mo., 65-61.

Trailing by two with 16 seconds to play, Torrance Rowe couldn't connect on his own 3-point attempt, leading to an offensive rebound by Dwan Caldwell in the paint. The senior's layup attempt was blocked by SEMO's Nino Johnson, however, and gave the Redhawks possession with 12 seconds on the clock.

Rowe made a heads up play, chasing down the Southeast Missouri ball handler and creating a steal with six seconds to play. Tech head coach Steve Payne called for his final timeout and the Golden Eagles drew up what would be their final play.

As it turned out, preseason All-OVC selection Jarekious Bradley got just enough of Jordan Johnson's attempt to win the game and collected the rebound with 1.8 ticks on the scoreboard. He sunk both free throws to give the contest its final score of 65-61.

Bradley led all scorers in the contest with 18 points and added a team-high seven rebounds while hitting six of his seven free throw attempts. Johnson finished with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks, despite going a paltry 4-for-10 from the charity stripe.

For the Golden Eagles, Charles Jackson and Jordan Johnson tied for the team lead in scoring, notching 14 points each. Jackson enjoyed another solid night shooting from the floor, hitting six of his nine field goal attempts. He added six rebounds as well. Johnson led the team with three assists.

Dwan Caldwell put together a gutsy performance, battling chronic ankle and knee injuries for 11 points and eight rebounds. Josiah Moore cleaned up the glass at a career pace, collecting a personal-best 14 boards on the night while adding five points.

The Golden Eagles will return to Cookeville and the Eblen Center Thursday, Jan. 22 for a huge Ohio Valley Conference match-up with East Division rival Morehead State. The contest is set for a 6 p.m. CST tip and will mark the first non-doubleheader conference game of the year.

Photo by Tony Marable