Men’s basketball team takes win over Adelphi University, 92-81
Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor
After a commanding first half lead, Southern Connecticut’s men’s basketball team managed to win 92-81 over Adelphi University Saturday afternoon inside Moore Field House.
The win now sits the Owls with the best conference record in the Northeast-10 Conference at 13-2, while improving to 18-5 overall. The Panthers, however, drop to 9-7 in the conference and 17-7 overall.
“We just played aggressively,” said head coach Scott Burrell on the win. “We played good defense. We made shots and shared the ball well. Our goal is to win every game. If we win every game then we’ll be in the drivers seat.”
Southern’s leading scorers; Desmond Williams and Michael Mallory were the duo that gave the Owls energy on offense.
Mallory finished the night with near triple-double. Posting 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Williams, on the other hand, picked up his 12th double-double of the season. Stuffing the stat sheet with 28 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and a dime. The 15 boards tying his career-high.
“Des [Williams] has played great all year,” said Coach Burrell. “He does everything. He plays defense, rebounds, scores. You can ask for more from what Des and Mike [Mallory] do in every game.”
Coming into the game, Adelphi and Southern were the top two teams in the Southwest Division, but the Owls were just too much for the Panthers.
As the Owls dominated the first half, with their biggest lead of the game coming at halftime by 21 points. Leading 43-22 at the break.
NE-10’s leading scorer, Mallory, said it was the team’s defense that got them in a rhythm in the first half.
“Our defense dictated how we were going to flow. We came out with a lot of energy, and that’s how we got in a rhythm. Great defense leads to great offense,” said junior guard, Mallory.
Despite being up by 21 at the break, Mallory said the coaching staff told the team to keep executing, as they didn’t want to let Adelphi find any confidence in their shot or the three-point line.
But that backfired, as Adelphi came out of the locker rooms hitting a three-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half, and recorded 59 points in the second period. While just being held to 22 points in the first period.
The Panthers duo of Anthony Libroia and Michael Coffey combined for 48 of Adelphi’s 81 points. Coffey finished with 24 points, three rebounds and a game-high six three-pointers.
Libroia ended with 24 points, four dimes and two boards.
In the second period, the Panthers cut the 21-point deficit at halftime, down to seven points. But it took the Panthers until 24 seconds left in regulation to get within seven points of the Owls.
Southern ended the game with a reverse dunk by forward Austin Carter, with only four seconds on the clock. Ending the game 92-81.
Despite the victory, Carter said the Owls weren’t pleased with the way they performed.
“It’s a great feeling to add another victory to our record,” said Carter, “but we want and need to get better from these games so that our weaknesses become strengths as we continue throughout the season. Today was good, but we know it can be better.”
The next time to catch the Owls in action will be Saturday Feb. 13 against the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor