They say there’s a first time for everything. This past Saturday, December 9, 2017, the Redhawks men’s basketball team recorded a program first – for the first time since moving to Division I in 1991, the Redhawks men beat the SIU Salukis in Carbondale.
Denzel Mahoney scored a game-high 18 points and knocked down three 3-pointers to lead the Redhawks to a 75-69 road win over rival Southern Illinois at SIU Arena.
Mahoney was one of four starters in double figures as the Redhawks also picked up their fourth win in a row, matching their longest winning streak under head coach Rick Ray.
The victory came even despite the Redhawks were without a pair of key big-men, Justin Carpenter and Mark Laros. Carpenter, who started each of the last four games, was sidelined with a concussion, and Laros missed his third-straight game with mononucleosis.
SEMO dominated the first half on both ends of the court, leading by as many as 22 points at and ultimately taking a 39-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Salukis made a run in the second half, but the Redhawks ultimately prevailed and never did trail after the opening minute of the game.
Defensively, the Redhawks held SIU's top scorer, Kavion Pippen, to just six points. Pippen, nephew of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, played only 18 minutes and did not score in the entire second half.
The win garnered the attention of St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Jeff Gordon, who ranked the Redhawks fourth out of 7 in his weekly ranking of St. Louis region Division I teams - ahead of both SIU and SLU.
SEMO took a break this week for final exams, but today head on the road to Manhattan, Kansas. Southeast will face Big 12 opponent Kansas State tomorrow at 7 p.m. K-State enters the match-up with an 8-2 record. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
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