SEMO Surges Past Norfolk State, 75-54
Nov. 29, 2009
NORMAL, Ill. - Sam Pearson scored a career-high 21 points and was one of three Redhawks in double figures as Southeast Missouri State topped Norfolk State, 75-54, during the Basketball Travelers Classic on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Sunday.
Pearson led the Redhawks (2-5) in scoring and helped SEMO snap a three-game losing skid and top the Spartans (1-5) in the tournament's early game. Cameron Butler (19) and Marland Smith (13) joined Pearson in double figures - both also career-highs. Butler added a team-best nine rebounds.
Both teams dueled to a 20-20 tie with 8:08 to play in the first half before Southeast Missouri State closed the half on a 17-5 run and led 37-25 at the break. Smith scored six of his first-half-best 13 points during the run and the Redhawks got another 10 points from Butler in the first 20 minutes. The Redhawks outscored Norfolk State 16-8 in the paint and 12-5 off turnovers in the opening period.
Norfolk State's Michael Deloach tallied back-to-back buckets and a block in the opening minutes of the second half to key an 8-0 Norfolk State run that trimmed the lead to four and forced a SEMO timeout at 17:54. Pearson found Butler for an alley-oop out of the timeout and followed with a pair of lay-ups to push the lead back to eight. Rae-Vonn Banks made it a double-digit game after converting the free throw on a three-point play. Norfolk State didn't have an answer and never pulled within 10 for the rest of the contest.
Southeast Missouri State shot 50 percent (25-of-50) for the game, including a 41.7 percent (5-of-12) mark from beyond the three-point line. The Redhawks made 20 of 34 free throws, while the Spartans scored 10 points from the charity stripe. Norfolk State committed 22 turnovers that led to 32 SEMO points.
Deloach led the Spartans with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Rob Hampton scored nine first half points and added four in the second for 13 total. Kyle O'Quinn chipped in eight points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, and the Spartans got another eight points from James Williams.
Norfolk State concludes a five-game road swing when the Spartans travel to James Madison (Dec. 2) and Southeast Missouri State tackles a two-game, early-season conference road trip against Austin Peay (Dec. 3) and Tennessee Tech (Dec. 5).
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