Owls score over 100 points and defeat Adelphi
Aaron Johnson – Sports Editor
As the snow and frigid wind blew outside of Moore Field House, the Southern Connecticut men’s basketball team heated up the court on the inside.
For a consecutive game in a row, the Owls scored 100+ points as they defeated Adelphi 104-93, it was also Southern’s sixth straight win. Head coach Mike Donnelly said that the Owls are continuing to work hard down the stretch of the regular season.
“It definitely starts in practice,” he said. “We’re not playing every day but we’re showing up here every day to practice. We watch film and lift so that’s where we kinda get the vibe. So it does start every day in practice.”
Senior guard Tylon Smith, one of four players in double figures, led the way for the Owls. Smith finished with 25 points to go along with seven assists and eight rebounds while shooting 10 for 12 from the field. He said that being able to get to the basket and score is a big part of his game despite the pressure shown by Adelphi.
“A lot of teams try to put me off course when I drive,” said Smith. “I’m use to it so I’ve learned and trained myself to really just play through the contact and finish through that. And that’s why I get so many and-1s.”
Smith was able to get to the free throw line eight times as the Owls opened up the game red-hot, shooting 67 percent from the field in the first half. While Southern was able to score 66 points in the first half, it was the Owls’ defensive intensity that senior Luke Houston said was the catalyst for the strong performance.
“That’s always where it begins for us,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been working on. Beginning of the year we weren’t too well so that’s something we’ve been trying to build on since we lost a couple of games. It just keeps getting better every game for us and when that’s going we can get out and score our baskets pretty easily.”
The Owls were able to force 20 turnovers over the course of the game, sophomore guard Michael Mallory finished with a team-high four steals while also scoring 21 points off the bench. After starting hot in the first half, Houston finished with 23 points of his own along with eight rebounds and two steals. Donnelly said that his team has really started to hit their stride late in the season.
“The focus has been really high over the last few weeks,” he said. “So I’m happy and hopefully we can keep it going. We’ve got a lot of games and a lot of tough games, but hopefully we can keep it going.”
The loss drops Adelphi to 4-19 on the season and 1-16 in the conference, however a bright spot for the Panthers came in the form of forward Duane Morgan. Morgan led the way for Adelphi with 37 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort. Despite a tough year, Houston said that the intensity was there from the Panthers throughout.
“They’re competitive guys,” he said. “And no one likes to get beat. They’re having a down year but they’re competitive.”
With the win, the Owls improved to 19-5 on the season and 13-3 in the NE-10. As the season draws to a close, Southern looks to finish strong in order to potentially host the conference tournament. But Smith said that the Owls are not looking too far forward, but are focusing on each opponent they have left.
“We’re just taking it game by game,” he said. “Obviously what we’re doing is working but each game brings a new obstacle and we just need to adjust to that and keep just really playing together and we’ll find ways to win.”