Today: Jun 25, 2024

NO LONGER PERFECT: OWLS LOSE AT HOME

PHOTO COURTESY | MARK TIBOR Junior swingman Greg Langston had fourteen points for the Owls on 6-of-14 shooting against Assumption last week.

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer

After starting the season 3-0 for the first time since 2010, the Owls men’s basketball team was dealt their first loss Tuesday night at Moore Field House by the Assumption Greyhounds (5-0), who won 80-67.

“It’s disappointing,” head coach Mike Donnelly said after the game. “We got outplayed, plain and simple. I thought Assumption really set the tone early with the way they came in, how physical they were, and the way they executed. I thought they made us pay with some quick shots we took offensively. We were two steps slower to start the game, probably because they came out and really dictated the action. I would’ve liked to see us play with a little more energy to start the game, but the tone was set at the start and we were struggling to find any rhythm. When I did think we had something going, they had an answer. It’s disappointing but we’ll move on.”

Southern’s (3-1) 11 first half turnovers proved to be a difference maker for the Greyhounds, who executed on almost every turnover opportunity. Their 48.6 field goal percentage guided them into the half with a 38-29 lead.

Coming right out of the gates in the second half firing, Assumption proceeded to execute on three consecutive three-point field goals to increase the Owls’ deficit to 17 points.

PHOTO COURTESY | MARK TIBOR
Junior swingman Greg Langston had fourteen points for the Owls on 6-of-14 shooting against Assumption last week.

“I thought we did a good job in the last four minutes of the first half,” Donnelly said. “We stayed positive at halftime and tried to make adjustments. To their credit, coming out of the half they executed and hit their shots. Our guys got a little frustrated, and that’s what we have to work on. Guys can’t get frustrated because we are going to have to win games where we are not playing well. That’s all part of the process. Assumption is a good team; they start four seniors and are well coached. They executed very well, and they did deflate us, and that’s what good teams do. They made us pay for not hitting shots, while they drilled threes to start the half.”

The Owls managed to eradicate Assumption’s 19-point advantage into a nine-point deficit, their lowest of the game, when senior forward Trevon Hamlet executed a layup with 3:29 remaining in the game. However, a pair of Ronson Quick free-throws, along with a Tim Beinert field goal, ended Southern’s late scoring run.

Assumption went on to defeat the Owls, 80-67.

“It’s a tough one,” sophomore guard Tylon Smith said. “It’s not the reaction or result we wanted, but we got to live with it and learn from it.”

A trio of Owls finished the game in double figures (Hamlet 18 points, Greg Langston 14 points, and Rashamell Vereen 13 points), while all four of Assumption’s starters scored in double digits.

Hamlet said the team’s flat performance in the first half dictated the rest of the game.

“We started off slow,” Hamlet said. “We didn’t defend as well as we usually do. They got a lot of easy points, and that gave them a rhythm. We were forced to play ‘catch-up’, and if we played like we did in the second half, we would’ve been better off.”

Next up for the Owls will be a trip to face off against Pace (3-1) on Wednesday Nov. 28. Donnelly said his team must put this lost behind them.

“We need to forget about Assumption,” Donnelly said. “These guys go through a lot. We’ve been going hard since early September, and we ask a lot from them. There’s nothing we can do about the lost until we get back on the floor for practice. We’re going to forget about this game in a good way. No one will ever truly forget about it, but we’re not going to harp on it. We’re going to move forward, look to build, and have some good practices leading up to Pace.”

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