Michael Costeines – Staff Writer –
The Southern Owls (16-9,13-8 NE-10) fell to cross town rival New Haven on Senior day 73-70 at Moore Field House. It is the Owls 3rd straight loss after winning their previous six, who will finish off their regular season vs. Adelphi at home before the NE-10 tournament.
Junior Greg Langston led all scorers with 21 points (8-19) and seven rebounds.
Sophomore Tylon Smith used strong penetration to the rim to finish with 18 points of his own and seven rebounds.
In a matchup of two off the better post-players in the conference, 6’8 sophomore Eric Anderson battled Senior 6’6 Trevon Hamlet to a double-double off 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Hamlet finished with only 12 points on 11 shot attempts, six points under his season average. Hamlet currently sits third in the conference in scoring, while Anderson places second in the league in rebounding. The younger Anderson used his nearly 25 pound weight advantage to work the smaller Hamlet in the post.
“Eric Anderson is an all-conference player,” said Hamlet. “He uses his body real well and is one of the best players that I have faced in this league. He reminds me a lot of how I was in high school and I have a lot of respect for his game and how he plays.”
The Chargers took a one-point lead into the half at 29-28. The Owls managed to keep the game close despite not hitting a three-pointer through the first 20 minutes of play.
New Haven, who finished with six players in double figures, used strong second half play from there two leading scorers, Justin Exum and Jeremy Williams to build a comfortable 62-46 lead with 5:34 remaining.
Exum’s back to back three pointers ignited the Charger bench and a mixed fan base of over 1000.
Despite the final result, the Owls never managed to really recover, which turned into a free throw contest late, an indicator off the Chargers 30 free throw attempts to the Owls 13.
Chargers’ Ashanti Depass hit seven from the line alone, many of them late in the game, too nearly matching the Owls team total off by nine.
“It is disappointing to lose a game like this,” said Head Coach Mike Donnelly. “We have dipped a bit as of late after going on a good run, and we are in a critical stretch off our season. Despite what has gone on as of late, I am confident our team will bounce back and finish out the season strong.”
Redshirt Senior Rashamell Vereen hit the Owls first three-pointer in the second half, hitting three of the Owls five for the game, to finish 15 points. Freshman Deshawn Murphy went scoreless and missed both of his three point attempts.
Murphy is second on the team with 46 three-pointers made, trailing Hamlet for the team lead by only four.
The Owl loss currently puts them 5th in the conference standings, with the Chargers fourth, making a third matchup a strong possibility in the first round of the NE-10 tournament.
“They are a really strong team, and we let it get away from us in the second half,” said Langston. “We could see them again though, but we have to finish out strong and bounce back from this which I know we are capable of doing.”