Mallory scores team high, 24 points, over Franklin Pierce
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Saturday Jan. 21, two of the Northeast-10 conference’s very best teams went head-to-head. As always, senior captain and guard Michael Mallory, Southern’s all-time scoring leader, was on his game from the tip.
Mallory shined with 24 points, including five rebounds, 10 assists and a steal in 39 minutes of work. The final statistics concluded that he was the player out there on the floor the longest, on both sides.
“I was happy we all came together,” Mallory said. “We played a complete, hard fought 40 minutes. It was a very, very tough team – they’re very good on their side.”
Off the bench, Joey Wallace was not afraid to leave his mark on Franklin Pierce, who entered the contest at 10-7, with a 7-4 conference record. The sophomore recorded 17 points in 34 minutes for the Owls, shooting 50% (5-10 field goals). Wallace was also 2-4 from three-point range and 5-6 at the line. He played 34 minutes and was just one of many Owls active on the glass.
In total, Southern scored 31 off the bench, compared to 16 from Franklin Pierce. The Owls outscored the opposition 46-42 in the second half after going into halftime 40 apiece.
Senior forward Austin Carter picked up eight defensive boards, and junior Jerry Luckett Jr had seven — six defensive and one on the offensive side of the ball. Carter also contributed with 16 points in 37 minutes of action.
Asked how his team performed, head coach Scott Burrell said he was glad the team got off their “little skid.” Southern dropped their last two before Saturday’s 86-82 victory, a 85-70 loss to Saint Asylum and then a 95-79 defeat at the hands of the University of Bridgeport.
Overall, the Owls are now 13-6, with a 9-3 mark in the NE-10. Ahead they face Assumption College in Worchester, Mass. on Jan. 24 and then are back home for Bentley on the 28th at 3:30 pm. Feb. 15 they will travel to take on their crosstown rival, the UNH Chargers, over in West Haven and will host the conference tournament beginning Feb. 24.
But there is work to be done before that, Burrell explained.
“Our goal is to win the rest of our games. We’re not in a place where we can be comfortable. There’s eight or nine games left and we have to try win them all,” said Burrell.
Burrell noted that the losses don’t reflect well on the program. Last year a talented Southern team was shocked in the first round of the NCAA Division II national tournament. Simply put, Burrell said, they need to find themselves.
“This win was a big step towards that. The second season here at Southern has been fun. We’ve had a lot of injuries this year but we have to fight through them,” said Burrell.
So far this season the Owls are holding a .468 overall winning percentage. They have gone 5-3 at home and 7-3 on the road.
They will have a chance to improve on their road dominance five more times this season, traveling to face off against Assumption College, Merrimack, Adelphi, the University of New Haven and Le Moyne College.
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana – Photo Editor