CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.
– Southeast Missouri (6-10, 1-0) held Eastern Kentucky (7-9, 0-1) to just 39.2 percent from the field in a commanding 81-48 win Saturday afternoon at the Show Me Center.
SEMO improved to 10-16 all-time in Ohio Valley Conference openers and began league play with a win for the first time since 2012-13.
"I was happy with the way our guys paid attention to the scouting report," said SEMO head coach Rick Ray
. "We moved the ball well and got consistent shooting."
Defensively, SEMO held an opponent to its lowest field goal percentage this season. The Redhawks forced 13 turnovers and scored 18 points off those miscues. SEMO also held EKU's top two scorers in Nick Mayo (12) and Asante Gist (4) to a combined 16 points. Mayo and Gist entered the game averaging 18 and 14.5 points per game, respectively.
scored seven of SEMO's first nine points and the Redhawks used a 10-0 run to build an eight-point lead in the first 7:12 of the game.
Mahoney and Jamaal Calvin
each buried a 3-pointer before Antonius Cleveland
's jumper gave the Redhawks a 14-6 advantage with 12:48 remaining in the first half.
EKU countered with six unanswered points and pulled to within two when Nick Mayo's 3-pointer made it a 14-12 game at the 11:07 mark.
SEMO responded with an 11-3 jaunt after that to open a double-digit lead. Trey Kellum
, who missed five games due to a knee injury, checked in and scored three points, while Calvin and Milos Vranes
knocked down a 3-pointer.
's jumper pushed the Redhawks lead to 25-15 with 6:27 to go before SEMO headed into the locker room ahead, 30-23.
EKU's 23 points were the fewest scored by an opponent against SEMO in the first half this season.
SEMO continued to pour it on in the second half, sinking five of its first seven 3-pointers and shooting 64.7 percent from the field in the first 12 minutes.
The Redhawks strung together a 17-0 run late in the half to blow the game open.
William Tcheingang threw down a dunk on the baseline, Vranes drained a 3-pointer from the left corner and Cleveland added a layup before walk-on Eli Sample
made the second 3-pointer of his career. Jaylen Benton
finished the surge with five-straight points to give SEMO its largest lead at 81-46.
Mahoney and Calvin led five SEMO scorers in double figures with 15 points apiece. Mahoney shot 6-of-10 from the field and had a game-high six assists, and Calvin was 5-of-9 from the floor. Both finished at 3-of-6 from 3-point range, as well.
Cleveland followed with 14 points, three assists and three blocks, while Benton and Eaddy chipped in 10 points each. Tchiengang pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
As a team, SEMO shot 55.8 percent (29-of-52) from the field for the game. The Redhawks did not turn the ball over in the second half. Additionally, SEMO buried 13 three-pointers.
DeAndre Dishman and Mayo both scored 12 points to lead EKU.
SEMO won an OVC game by more than 30 points for the first time since 2001. That year, the Redhawks defeated Tennessee State, 88-57, on Jan. 4.
The Redhawks hit the road to face Tennessee State on Jan. 5.