NCAA FIRST FOUR at Dayton, Ohio: #16 SEMO Redhawks Meet #16 Texas A&M-CC in First Four Tuesday

#16 Southeast Missouri (19-16) vs. #16 Texas A&M-CC (23-10)

NCAA First Four

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Tip-Off: 5:40 p.m., CT
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Facility: UD Arena
Series: First Meeting
Head Coaches: Brad Korn (44-50 overall; 44-50 at SEMO; 27-28 OVC). Steve Lutz (46-22 overall; 46-22 at TAMCC; 21-11 Soutland).

Follow the Redhawks
Radio: Real Rock 99.3 FM (Erik Sean)
TV: truTV (Tom McCarthy, Avery Johnson, Jon Rothstein)
Live Stats:
Twitter: @SEMOMBB
2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket: Complete Bracket
NCAA Tournament Guide: Southeast Missouri (PDF)

Time to Dance
#16 Southeast Missouri (19-16) will square off against #16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (23-10) in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 5:40 p.m., CT at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Follow the Redhawks
Fans can listen live on the radio at Real Rock 99.3 FM. Erik Sean will be on the call. The game will be televised live on truTV with Tom McCarthy, Avery Johnson and Jon Rothstein calling the action. Live stats are available at and Twitter updates will be provided @SEMOMBB.

Series History
Southeast Missouri meets Southland Conference member Texas A&M-CC for the first time Tuesday. The Islanders are the automatic qualifier out of their conference this season.

Winner Goes to South Regional
The winner of Tuesday’s game between #16 Southeast Missouri and #16 Texas A&M-CC will go to the South Regional in Birmingham, Alabama to play #1 Alabama on Thursday, Mar. 16. Tip for that game in Birmingham is 1:45 p.m., CT on CBS.

First NCAA Tournament in 23 Years
The Redhawks are in their first NCAA Tournament in 23 years and second in program history. Southeast Missouri last made the NCAA Tournament in 1999-2000. SEMO is 0-1 all-time at the NCAA Tournament. The Redhawks came up on the short end of a close 64-61 loss to LSU (Mar. 16) in Salt Lake City, Utah that year. SEMO was a #13 seed in the 2000 NCAA Tournament, which was won by Michigan State in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Winning Season
At 19-16 overall, Southeast Missouri has its first winning season in nine years. SEMO finished the 2013-14 campaign at 18-14 overall for its last winning season. The Redhawks ended a streak of eight-straight losing records. One more victory will give SEMO 20 wins in a season for only the third time during its NCAA Division I era in program history. The Redhawks also went 20-9 in 1998-99 and 24-7 in 1999-2000. This year is SEMO’s ninth winning season since the Redhawks joined the Division I ranks in 1991-92.

OVC Champions
The Redhawks, 4-0 in March, stormed their way into the NCAA Tournament when they won four games in four days to claim this year’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship. As a #5 seed, Southeast Missouri beat #8 Lindenwood (Mar. 1) and #4 Tennessee State (Mar. 2) before ousting the tournament’s top two seeds in #1 Morehead State (Mar. 3) and #2 Tennessee Tech (Mar. 4). SEMO became the first #5 seed to ever win the OVC Tournament and is the first team to four games in four days at the event since Austin Peay accomplished the feat in 2016.

First Ticket Punched
Southeast Missouri was the first team to punch its ticket in this year’s NCAA Tournament when it took down Tennessee Tech, 89-82, in overtime during the Ohio Valley Conference Championship game on Mar. 4. SEMO was one of four teams which eliminated a conference tournament #1 seed during the opening weekend of postseason play. Northern Arizona
(Big Sky Conference), Drake (Missouri Valley Conference) and South Alabama (Sun Belt Conference) were the others.

OVC at the NCAA Tournament
The Ohio Valley Conference is 27-73 all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Murray State was the last to represent the league in the 68-team bracket in 2022. That year, the #7 Racers beat #10 San Francisco, 92-87, in overtime in the first round before falling to #15 Saint Peter’s, 70-60, in the second round of the East Region.

Born for This Moment
Of Southeast Missouri’s 2022-23 roster, only two players were born the last time the Redhawks made the NCAA Tournament in 2000. Chris Harris was two years old and Nate Johnson was a month and 11 days old at the time. The rest of the team wasn’t even born yet.

NCAA Tournament Pedigree
This year marks Brad Korn‘s first NCAA Tournament appearances as a head coach. Overall, this is Korn’s 11th NCAA Tournament between his career as a coach and player. Here is a complete list of those appearances.
As a Player
Southern Illinois (Sweet 16), 2001-02
Southern Illinois (First Round), 2002-03
Southern Illinois (First Round), 2003-04
As a Coach
Southern Illinois (NCAA Second Round)
Graduate Assistant, 2004-05 Southern Illinois (NCAA First Round)
Graduate Assistant, 2005-06 Southern Illinois (NCAA Sweet 16)
Assistant Coach, 2006-07 Kansas State (NCAA Second Round)
Director of Operations, 2012-13 Kansas State (NCAA First Round)
Assistant Coach, 2016-17 Kansas State (NCAA Elite 8) Assistant Coach, 2017-18
Kansas State (NCAA First Round) Assistant Coach, 2018-19
Southeast Missouri (NCAA First Four) Head Coach, 2022-23

Chris Harris, in his fourth year as the oldest player on Southeast Missouri’s roster, earned this year’s coveted Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player Award. Harris had an outstanding tournament averaging 20.3 points per game in his first four starts this postseason. He scored 36 of his 81 points in the tournament at the free throw line (36-of-45). Harris also scored 29 points in SEMO’s quarterfinal win over #4 Tennessee State (Mar. 2) and 26 points in the championship game vs. #2 Tennessee Tech (Mar. 4).

Russell Gets All-Tournament Team Honors
Phillip Russell joined Christ Harris on this year’s Ohio Valley Conference All-Tournament Team. Russell averaged 18 points in four starts and led Southeast Missouri with eight 3-pointers made. Russell also dished out 17 assists, collected nine steals and made 26-of-33 free throws in the tournament. He scored the final seven points of the overtime period that nailed down Southeast Missouri’s tournament clinching win over #2 Tennessee Tech (Mar. 4).

All-OVC Honorees
In addition to their Ohio Valley Conference All-Tournament Team honors, guards Phillip Russell and Chris Harris were also named to the league’s All-Conference Team. Russell garnered First-Team All-OVC honors for the first time in his career, while Harris was a second-team selection for the first All-OVC accolade of his tenure.

1,000 Point Scorers
Chris Harris and Phillip Russell each went over 1,000 career points this season. Harris (1,146) surpassed the mark when he scored 20 vs. Southern Indiana (Feb. 18), the final home game of his career. Russell (1,001) accomplished the feat during his stretch of scoring the final seven points of the Redhawks Ohio Valley Conference Championship game win over Tennessee Tech (Mar. 4). Russell (600) and Harris (522) are both over 500 points this year alone.

Seniors Rise to the Occasion
Seniors Chris HarrisIsrael Barnes and Nate Johnson don’t want this season to end anytime soon. The trio is coming off an outstanding Ohio Valley Conference Tournament run. Harris averaged 20.3 points, while Barnes and Johnson followed with 10 and 9.3 points per game, respectively, in the tournament. The three combined for seven double-digit scoring performances and accounted for 48 percent of Southeast Missouri’s scoring output in the tournament.

Third OVC Title Game Appearance
This year marked Southeast Missouri’s third trip to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title game in program history. Prior to this season, the Redhawks played for the OVC Tournament crown in 1999 and 2000. SEMO won the event in 2000 and 2023.

High Scoring Hawks
Southeast Missouri outscored its opponents by a +10.2 margin in this year’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. SEMO averaged 82.2 points per game to its opponents 72. The Redhawks scored 84 or more points during three of their four postseason contests. SEMO scored a OVC Tournament high 91 points in its quarterfinal win over #4 Tennessee State (Mar. 2). The Redhawks also put up 84 points vs. #8 Lindenwood (Mar. 1) and 89 vs. #2 Tennessee Tech (Mar. 4).

Big Difference
The Redhawks outscored their opponents, 87-65 (+22) at the free throw line during their Ohio Valley Conference Tournament run. SEMO made 87-of-112 free throws for 77.7 percent. Chris Harris (36) and Phillip Russell (26) accounted for 62 of those points at the free throw line. Aquan Smart also made a perfect 10-of-10 at the charity stripe. Heading into this week’s NCAA Tournament, the Redhawks rank 13th in the nation in free throw attempts per game (23.1) and 18th in free throws made per game (16.5).

High Scoring Hawks
Southeast Missouri outscored its opponents by a +10.2 margin in this year’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. SEMO averaged 82.2 points per game to its opponents 72. The Redhawks scored 84 or more points during three of their four postseason contests. SEMO scored a OVC Tournament high 91 points in its quarterfinal win over

Second Half Fury
Southeast Missouri trailed by 11 points in the first half and did not get its first lead against Morehead State until Dylan Branson made two free throws with 4:45 remaining. SEMO outscored the Eagles, 20-7, in the final 8:43 of the game to claim its spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship. The Redhawks took over in the second half beating MSU, 36-24, in the final 20 minutes.

Step Back Dagger
After Morehead State made it a three-point game (61-58) with 50 second on the clock, Phillip Russell drilled a step back 3-pointer 19 seconds later to bury the Eagles for good. The 3-pointer was Russell’s team-high 77th of the season.

Earley Goes for a Double-Double
Josh Earley scored 11 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench against Morehead State (Mar. 3). He made 5-of-6 field goals along the way. Earley earned his second double-double of the season.

Unbelievable OVC Championship
March Madness are the words that summed up Southeast Missouri’s 89-82 win over #2 Tennessee Tech in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship on Mar. 4. SEMO held a 72-65 lead with 1:11 left in the game before TTU erased the deficit. Jayvis Harvey made a 3-pointer and then scored on a jumper in the paint to get the Golden Eagles within two (72-70) with 32 seconds on the clock. A 3-pointer on TTU’s next possession after a SEMO turnover put the Golden Eagles ahead by one with 10 seconds. Chris Harris was fouled behind the 3-point line and calmly made three free throws to put the Redhawks back up, 75-73, with just two ticks left. On TTU’s final possession, Dionte Wood made what was initially ruled a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the shot was later changed to two points after a replay review revealed Wood’s foot was on the line. That sent the game to overtime. During the extra period, the Golden Eagles managed to get a 78-75 lead on three free throws in the first 1:06 of overtime and led by as many as four with 2:37 to go. Israel Barnes countered by scoring five points. Barnes nailed a corner 3-pointer to get back a 82-80 edge for SEMO. Harvey made two free throws to tie the game at 82-82 and that was the last time the Golden Eagles were ahead as the Redhawks closed out the victory on 7-0 run. Phillip Russell scored the final seven points of the game to seal the win with five of those coming at the free throw line.

Third-Straight OVC Tournament 
Southeast Missouri made the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the third year in a row under Head Coach Brad Korn. Korn took the Redhawks to the league’s postseason tournament all three of his seasons as head coach. In his first year at the SEMO helm, Korn led the Redhawks to their first OVC Tournament in five years during the 2020-21 campaign. The last time SEMO made three-straight OVC Tournament appearances was 2013-15.

Another OVC Tournament Win for Korn
Head Coach Brad Korn has five Ohio Valley Conference Tournament victories in his career as Southeast Missouri’s head coach. Korn is now 5-2 all-time at the league’s postseason tournament.

18th OVC Tournament Berth
The Redhawks made their 18th trip to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in program history this season. Southeast Missouri appeared in the league’s postseason event in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2021, 2022 and 2023. SEMO is 16-16 all-time in the OVC Tournament. The Redhawks won their only OVC Tournament titles and made their only NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000 and 2023. The Redhawks have been in the championship game three times (1999, 2000, 2023) and the semifinals on five occasions (1999, 2000, 2005, 2022, 2023).

#5 Seed
In 2023, Southeast Missouri was a #5 seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the fifth time in program history. SEMO was also the #5 seed in 1998, 2001, 2012 and 2017 tournaments. The Redhawks are 6-5 as the #5 seed and the only school that won the OVC Tournament as a #5.

First Wins vs. #2 and #4 Seeds
The Redhawks beat a #2 and #4 seed for the first time in their Ohio Valley Conference Tournament history. Southeast Missouri beat #2 Tennessee Tech, 89-82, in overtime to win the championship on Mar. 4 and, #4Tennessee State, 91-83, on Mar. 2. SEMO is now 1-4 vs. both the #1 and #4 seeds.

Four-Game Winning Streak 
Southeast Missouri claimed its fourth- straight win with an 89-82 victory over #2 Tennessee Tech (Mar. 4). It ties SEMO’s longest winning streak of the season.