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Golden Eagle rally falls short in double overtime loss at SEMO

Golden Eagle rally falls short in double overtime loss at SEMO

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Despite a comeback for the ages, the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team came up short in its bid for a sixth-straight Ohio Valley Conference victory Saturday evening, as the Golden Eagles fell in a double-overtime thriller at Southeast Missouri, 84-77.

The purple and gold struggled to find its footing early in the ball game, staring down a 9-0 deficit just three minutes into the contest. The Redhawks (10-11, 5-3) took advantage of Tech's early shooting woes, building as much as a 22-point lead with just three minutes to play in the first half.

Firing at just a 30 percent clip up to the final media break of the opening stanza, the Golden Eagles (9-12, 5-3) locked in and knocked down each of their final four attempts from the field. Adding in a free throw, Tech ended the half on a 10-0 run while SEMO missed its final four shots and made a pair of turnovers.

Knocking the deficit to just 37-25 at the break, Tech found its shooting touch in the second half while the defense locked down on the Redhawks. Connecting on an impressive 55.6 percent of their attempts from the field and 58.3 percent from distance, the Golden Eagles outscored Southeast Missouri 41-29 in the second half to force an extra session.

SEMO kept itself out of the loss column with superior rebounding, hauling seven boards alone on the offensive glass to create eight second-chance points. The Redhawks corralled 15 of their own misses during the night, leading to a 17-rebound advantage for the contest.

Both sides struggled to get much going in the first overtime, trading just four points apiece on their way to a second overtime period. SEMO snagged the early lead in the second OT and never looked back keeping Tech at least one point away until pulling away late with a fast-break dunk and some free throws. The Redhawks outscored the Golden Eagles 14-7 in the final period.

Junior guard Jayvis Harvey put forth a fantastic effort, leading the purple and gold with 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Fellow junior Brett Thompson was highly efficient for the second game in a row, locking down 18 points with six makes on 10 tries from the floor, including a spectacular 4-for-5 effort from downtown.

Playing more than 30 minutes off the bench, junior Erik Oliver chipped in 13 points and four rebounds on 6-for-10 efficiency. Rounding out the double-digit scoring performances for the Golden Eagles, graduate guard Ty Perry secured 10 points with a team-high six assists. Jaylen Sebree led Tech with a career-high 14 rebounds while adding five points.

Chris Harris led the Redhawks with a game-high 23 points, securing a double-double with 11 rebounds. Phillip Russell produced 13 points and eight assists while Aquan Smart and Israel Barnes each contributed 10 points. Dylan Branson hauled in a team-high 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

Tech will head home for a pair of tilts in the Hooper Eblen Center, starting with a nationally-televised affair on Thursday, Jan. 26 against SIUE. The Golden Eagles and Cougars will square off in a 6:00 p.m. affair on ESPNews. The purple and gold will then host Little Rock on Saturday, Jan. 28 in a 3:00 p.m. contest.

Photo by Thomas Corhern

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