Momentum can shift at any given time in a game.
Thursday night’s tilt between the visiting Central Arkansas Bears and the host Southeast Missouri State Redhawks saw how fast momentum can shift. Both halves opened with big runs, creating a big boost of momentum for both teams.
The Bears opened the game on a 10-0 run to come flying out of the gates. Central Arkansas led the entire first half, and took a seven-point advantage into the locker room.
In the second half, it was a different story.
It was the Redhawks’ turn to take control of the game. Over the first nine-plus minutes of the game, Southeast Missouri State opened the half on a 36-1 run, and Central Arkansas never recovered.
Four players scored in double figures, including a game-high 21 points from forward Trey Kellum, and the Redhawks rolled to the 87-63 win over Central Arkansas.
After opening the game on a 10-0 run, the Bears wouldn’t relinquish their lead before halftime. After the Redhawks cut the lead down to five in the final minute, a jumper from Derreck Brooks gave the Bears a 37-30 advantage after the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, it was all about the home team.
Southeast Missouri State opened the half on a 36-1 run that blew the game wide open. They scored the first nine points of the half, capped off by a pair of free throws from Antonius Cleveland which gave the Redhawks a 39-37 lead.
The Bears would never lead again.
Central Arkansas’ lone point in the run came on a free throw from Albert Christensson at the 16:38 mark of the half. The Bears were held off the scoreboard again until the 10:10 mark, a span of almost six and a half minutes.
During the Redhawks’ run, Kellum scored 10 of his 21 points, and Jaylen Benton connected on three 3-pointers to pace the offense.
After the run, the teams went back and forth over the final ten minutes. But, the damage had already been done.
Southeast Missouri State recorded 28 assists on 33 field goals on the night, and cruised in the second half to the 87-63 win over the Central Arkansas Bears.
Jordan Howard led the way for the Bears, scoring a team-high 15 points in the loss. Mathieu Kamba, Darraja Parnell, and Derreck Brooks scored 11 points apiece.
Albert Christensson’s lone point on the night came during the 36-1 run for the Redhawks.
Four players scored in double-figures for the host Redhawks. Trey Kellum led the way, scoring a game-high 21 points to go along with 8 rebounds.
Antonius Cleveland (13 points, 8 rebounds), Jaylen Benton (13 points), and Denzel Mahoney (12 points) were the others to score in double digits. Ten of the 11 players who saw game-time for the Redhawks scored at least 2 points.
With the loss, the Central Arkansas Bears (1-6, 0-0) lose their third straight game after posting an impressive road win over the Army West Point Black Knights. They will go for their second win of the year on Saturday afternoon, when they visit the Butler Bulldogs.
The win pushed the home record for the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (4-3, 0-0) to a perfect 3-0 to kick off 2016-17. They will be in tough in their next game, which is Sunday against the high-powered Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington.
– T. Bennett