CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – For the third straight season, Missouri S&T held a lead at halftime of an exhibition game against Southeast Missouri State, but the Redhawks shot 60 percent in the second half to come away with a 94-75 win Wednesday night.
The Miners, playing in the first of their three exhibition contests of the year, got off to a fast start as they grabbed an 11-1 lead just three minutes into the contest, using the long ball to grab the early advantage. Dulan Scott hit a three-pointer on S&T's opening possession and the Miners also got threes from freshmen Allante Pickens and Chris Harris during the game-opening run.
S&T held that lead until the 9:29 mark of the half and Southeast took its first lead at 23-21 on a basket by Denzel Mahoney, the Ohio Valley Conference's "Freshman of the Year" last season who scored a game-high 27 points on Wednesday. However, the Miners regained the lead at 29-28 on a jumper in the lane by Romain Louiserre and had the lead at halftime thanks to a three-pointer by Pickens before the buzzer sounded.
Pickens hit four treys in the first half as the Miners were seven-of-20 from long range in the first 20 minutes.
Southeast came out of the gate quickly following the intermission, scoring the first five points to regain the lead, then the game became a back-and-forth contest for the next four minutes. A three-pointer by Ervin Sarajlic (St. Louis, Mo./Oakville), his third of the half, gave S&T a 49-47 advantage with 16:42 remaining.
That would end up being the Miners' final lead of the game as the Redhawks went on a quick 6-0 burst to regain the lead, then after Harris hit a three to cut the margin to one, Southeast rattled off nine straight to extend its advantage ot 10 by the 11:38 mark.
The Redhawks would eventually build their lead to 15 with just over seven minutes remaining, but the Miners used a 13-4 surge, propelled by nine points from Harris, to get to within six at the final media timeout with 3:46 to play. But the Miners ran out of steam down the stretch, as S&T was outscored 15-2 from the point forward.
Harris led four Miners in double figures with 20 points and Pickens had 19 as both were impressive in their Miner debuts. Sarajlic ended up with 11 and Scott with 10 for S&T, who shot 41 percent for the game but hit 12 three-pointers.
Southeast also had four in double figures, as Daniel Simmons had 15 points and Mark Laros scored 14 in back of Mahoney's production. The Redhawks also outrebounded S&T by 14 in the second half to finish with a 47-35 advantage in that department.
Missouri S&T will play its second exhibition game Saturday when it faces Tulsa in a 3 p.m. contest in Tulsa, Okla.