The SCSU vs UNH rivalry continues on the basketball court
Jared Klim – Special to the Southern News
In sports rivalries make a team’s season no matter what the record, when rival teams play anything goes. At any level of any sport, a rivalry can make or break teams moral or season. Everyone knows The New York Yankees/ Boston Red Sox in Baseball, Philadelphia Eagles/New York Giants in pro football and even collegiately with the University of Michigan and Ohio State University every team in every league has a rival.
The backyard fight between Southern and rival University of New Haven has become one of the best rivalries in the New England 10 Conference. As the two schools squared of on Wednesday at Moore Field here at SCSU athletic director Jay Moran said “I think one of the most exciting things about sports is a rivalry, a close rivalry.”
As both seem to always clash regardless of the sport, in every game it’s a game players look forward to regardless of the time of year.
“It’s a game the kids get really geared up for,” said women’s basketball coach, Albert DeSalvo. “You like in a game like last night essentially second place is at stake you don’t have to say too much you know what to expect the kids are gonna give there best effort and vice versa. Obviously all the fans get involved because it’s a city game. That’s kinda why you play college basketball to play in atmospheres like that.”
The rivalry has had nothing but a positive impact on sports as athletic director Moran said, “It’s good for the sport when you have a rivalry this close in geography like that it adds excitement to the college arena and atmosphere like southern connect I cut and new haven have had all these years and all different sports.”
With Wednesday’s men’s and women’s basketball games have rivalry is in full swing. With no love lost between both teams especially how their last meeting in the New England ten title game ended with SCSU senior Captain Greg Langston hitting a game-winning three-point shot at the buzzer sending UNH home and Southern Connecticut on its run to the Elite 8 in last year’s national tournament.
“It’s a big rivalry,” said men’s basketball head coach Michael Donnelly, “from the athletic standpoint because of the proximity to each other but I can just speak on behalf of our basketball program it’s always a really fun and exciting game. Coach Hotaling and I came in at the same time we both took over struggling programs both have been able to turn them into competitive ones. Now that we’re both good it’s a fun exciting game and everything goes their good again this year and that’s what a rivalry is all about an intense all out battle and that’s what we expect tonight.”
The men’s team took the decisive Victory against the chargers 61-46 behind impressive defense and Tylon Smith, Luke Houston and DeShawn Murphy all totaling over ten points each. The women suffered a tough loss to UNH 82-75 with a strong effort from Forward Jackie Beathea totaling 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The regular season or this season’s chapter in the rivalry of New Haven is over but the teams may clash in the NCAA playoffs in March.
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas