OLNEY - The Blue Knights beat Southeastern Illinois College on Saturday afternoon in Harrisburg, Illinois by a score of 82-70 to improve to 14-2 overall and 5-1 in GRAC play.
The Blue Knights went into halftime with a 34-31 advantage after Southeastern Illinois converted on a putback layup at the buzzer just before intermission.
Olney Central then traded baskets with SIC for the first ten minutes of the second half. The Blue Knights were finally able to extend their lead at the 10:33 minute mark after 5'10 sophomore point guard Jalen Moore converted on back-to-back buckets at the rim to make the score 54-49.
6'5 freshman forward JJ Kalakon made a diving play out of bounds to keep the ball alive the very next play that saw 6'3 freshman guard CE Talton draw a foul on a layup. Talton buried both free throws to put Olney Central up 58-47.
Southeastern Illinois 6'0 sophomore guard Emanuel Cross Jr. stopped the run with a drive and score of his own.
Olney Central's 6'4 sophomore guard Nick Walker drew a foul on the other end and made both free throws to put the Blue Knights back on top by nine (60-51).
Southeastern Illinois' Cross answered again as he split a pair of free throws, but a technical foul and ejection on the SIC head coach sent Moore to the free throw line.
Moore swished both free throws to put the Blue Knights up by ten (62-52) at the 7:25 minute mark of the second half.
Olney Central was able to close out the game as they continued to sink free throws and control the tempo of the game.
The Blue Knights were paced in scoring by Moore (28), Kalakon (17), Walker (9), Talton (8), 7'1 redshirt-sophomore Jason Cudd (8), 6'5 freshman forward Cobie Montgomery (6), and 6'8 freshman forward Elijah Farr (6).
Olney Central shot 45% overall from the floor (26-58) and just 14% from behind the arc (2-14). The Blue Knights converted on 28-34 free throws for 82%.
Head Coach Mike Burris on the win - "Southeastern Illinois is always a tough place to play. It took us a while to find our rhythm offensively, but give them credit. They got us sped up and we didn't get organized. We finished out the first half really well and we built off of that going into the second half. We made our free throws down the stretch and took care of the ball. I thought we were really good defensively."
Next Game - Wednesday, January 15 at Lincoln Trail College (7:30pm)