NEW ALBANY, Ind. – The IU Southeast men's basketball team clinched its first regular season conference title since 2013-14 and an automatic berth to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball tournament in a high-scoring shootout over Brescia on Saturday.
The Grenadiers (22-5, 16-2 RSC) shot 58 percent from the field in the contest and 61 percent from the field in the second half and overtime. Brescia shot 49 percent for the game and 53 percent in the first half.
Robert Sawyer led IU Southeast with 24 points and 15 rebounds as he carried the Grenadiers back into game in the second half. Jamie Johnson had 20 points, Demetrius Stanton had 19 and eight assists, Joe Jackson had 14 points and six rebounds and Tyler Landry had 13 points and seven rebounds.
On Senior Day for IU Southeast, Landry and Sawyer combined to score 37 points and grab 22 rebounds their final regular season games at home.
The Grenadiers trailed 70-60 with 10:24 to play in regulation. The Brescia offense was hitting on all cylinders until IU Southeast responded with a 14-4 run to tie the game at 74 with 7:35 to play.
After Jamie Johnson hit a three to make it 89-84 IU Southeast with 3:46 to play, the Bearcats hit their free throws down-the-stretch to force overtime. Tavon Johnson was able to get to the rim on the Bearcats' final possession but the shot rolled off the rim as time expired. The score was tied at 92 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Jamie Johnson opened the period with a three-pointer for IU Southeast. Joe Jackson followed with a jumper and two free throws to extend the lead to 100-94. The Grenadiers forced tough shots throughout overtime and were able to hang on for a 107-102 win.
IU Southeast shut down the Brescia attack from the perimeter midway through the second half and overtime which allowed the Grenadiers to claw back into the game. They held the Bearcats to 3-of-15 shooting from the field (20 percent) in the second half and overtime.
Dillon Geralds had a stellar performance for Brescia. He scored 30 points, including 16 in the first half. Tavon Johnson kept Brescia in the game in the second half and overtime. He finished with 25 points. Trey Howard had 17 points and Zach McDaniel added 13.
IU Southeast will have home court advantage throughout the conference tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. Brescia is the No. 3 in the RSC West. Game times and opponents will be announced later this weekend by the River States Conference.