Today: Jun 17, 2024

Men’s basketball snaps six game win streak

photo courtesy | Mark Tibor Junior Greg Langston finished Tuesday’s game v.s. Pace with nine points, five assists, and three rebounds.

Michael Costeines – Staff Writer

The Southern Connecticut State  University men’s basketball team (16-7,14-5) held off the visiting Setters of Pace University 78-64 at Moore Field House. Freshman Deshawn Murphy, coming off league rookie of the week honors, led the Owls with 18 points for the team’s sixth straight win.

The Owls drained eight first half three-pointers, but only held a slim three-point edge on the scoreboard after 20 minutes of play. The hot shooting from deep accounted for all but five of the Owls made field goals in the half. Murphy led the way with three from downtown and 10 first half points, while sophomore Luke Houston knocked down two of his own to go into the break with six points.

“My goal for the year is to connect on fifty-percent of my three-point shots,” said Murphy, who is shooting 44 percent from deep on the season. “I really feel like if I am open I can hit from anywhere on the court no matter how deep I am. As a shooter you have to believe that the ball is going to drop in when it leaves your hand at all times.”

Despite only a pedestrian three from behind the arc in the second half, the Owls made it up with 26 free-throw attempts in the final 20 minutes, making 21 of them. Houston was a perfect 5-5 from the line, and Greg Langston made up for a poor shooting night (1-7 from the field) to hit seven of his eight free-throws.

However, the Setters kept it close, trailing the Owls only by one at 59-58 with 7:34 remaining after a three-pointer by Kai Smith. After that, the Owls closed the game on a 19-6 run led by sophomore Tylon Smith, who finished the game with a double-double consisting of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Trevon Hamlet dropped 16 points himself, including a trio of three pointers.

“It’s a nice win to keep our streak going,” said Smith. “We created some separation in the second half to give us some breathing room and we were able pull away. We are playing well right now as a team and hopefully we can carry it over into our next game because our momentum continues to grow.”

Despite being out-sized by the Setters, who featured a multitude of players around 6’6”, the Owls managed to out-rebound Pace by six led by 6’2” Smith and the 6’4” Murphy with eight. Aided by the strong shooting from outside, the team also totaled 17 assists to the Setters six. Southern finished shooting 11-21 from deep and making 23 of their 30 free throws.

“I thought we tightened up a bit in the second half on defense,” said Head Coach Mike Donnelly.  “It’s a good win and we were able to hit our shots and create a little gap late in the game.”

The Owls six game-winning streak was snapped after losing at the buzzer to American International College in Springfield, Mass., 74-73. Ricky Hudson’s lone three pointer proved to be the difference for AIC, despite 21 points from Trevon Hamlet and a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds by Tylon Smith.

A made and a missed free throw by Tylon Smith opened up the door for Hudson’s game winner, whose team trailed by two with 1.1 seconds to go. It was the second bitter loss to the Yellow Jackets, who defeated the Owls at Moore Field House in overtime 84-82 in overtime in December.

photo courtesy | Mark TiborJunior Greg Langston finished Tuesday’s game v.s. Pace with nine points, five assists, and three rebounds.
photo courtesy | Mark Tibor
Junior Greg Langston finished Tuesday’s game v.s. Pace with nine points, five assists, and three rebounds.

 

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