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SEMO drops heartbreakerPosted Thursday, March 1, 2012, at 9:58 PM
It was a heartbreaker in Music City for the SEMO men's basketball team as the Redhawks nearly pulled off a comeback for the ages Thursday night.
SEMO erased a 19-point second-half deficit and held a late four-point but Tennessee Tech surged back to win 77-73 win in the quarterfinals of the OVC tournament in Nashville, Tenn.
The Redhawks showed a lot of heart to rally after falling behind 55-36 but in the end the Eagles just made a few more plays.
SEMO coach Dickey Nutt's third season with the Redhawks ended at 15-16. They might not have done as well this year as some fans hoped but they continued their solid improvement after Nutt took over a program totally down in the dumps.
SEMO posted its most victories since the 2004-05 squad also won 15 games and the Redhawks' fourth-place OVC tie was their highest OVC finish since the 1999-2000 NCAA tournament team earned a share of the regular-season title.
The Redhawks also posted OVC tournament wins in consecutive years for just the second time, the other time coming during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons when SEMO reached the finals both campaigns.
Sure, the Redhawks probably had the talent to do better, and when they pushed their overall record to 14-11 a few weeks back while holding on to second place in the OVC it looked like they might.
That still doesn't detract from the job Nutt and his assistants have done in getting SEMO's program back on solid footing.
But the next step, seriously challenging for OVC regular-season and tournament championships, is probably the most difficult to reach.
SEMO, despite losing key seniors Leon Powell and Marcus Brister, should have a strong roster next season as a host of key players return and several figure to have more prominent roles, namely promising sophomore-to-be forward Nino Johnson.
I'm already looking forward to seeing if Southeast's 2012-13 roster will be good enough for the program to take that next step.
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