Men’s Basketball falls to UConn in exhibition game

Matt GadContributor

Prior to starting their regular season at The College of Saint Rose Nov. 14, Scott Burrell took his new-look Owls to Gampel Pavilion to take on UConn and their new coach, Dan Hurley.

Matched up against Division I talent, senior Isaiah McLeod scored 19 points and had eight rebounds and sophomore Ulyen Coleman, the reigning NE10 Rookie of the Year, scored 10.

“It’s fun for me to bring our guys up here,” Burrell said. “Our guys compete, we just don’t have the horses to sustain it but these guys battle every day.”

The Owls started hot, taking a 5-0 lead before the Huskies even got on the board. It was just 52-40 at halftime but the Huskies were too much for the Owls in the second half, eventually grabbing the 96-64 victory.

Senior Luke Beesley had a team-high 11 rebounds and three blocked shots and two former Division I players, C.J. Seaforth and Kealen Ives, made their team debuts. Seaforth, previously from Iona, scored seven points before fouling out and Ives, a Rider transfer, took home a stat line of eight points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.

“We played against a team that harassed us for the whole game so I commend our team but we gotta get better,” Burrell said.

UConn saw major contributions from Brendan Adams, who scored 17 points, Jalen Adams, who scored 16, Alterique Gilbert and Tarin Smith, who scored 12 points, and Christian Vital, who scored 11.

“They’re long, their guards are strong and they’re quick,” Burrell said about the Huskies. “They’re definitely a better team this year. There’s a lot of movement on offense and they’re gonna be fun to watch.”

This was the first time the team has played at UConn in an exhibition format in two years, when it was a very similar score. In that game, the Owls lost 94-65. For last Friday night’s game and the
Nov. 15 exhibition between Kate Lynch’s squad and UConn Women’s Basketball,
the University of Connecticut will pay Southern’s athletic department $35,000, something that athletic director Jay Moran said will be allocated to the basketball programs and also to the department itself for non-basketball items.

Ahead of the contest, Burrell was inducted into the Huskies of Honor and had his No. 24 UConn jersey plaque hung up on the wall. In attendance for the ceremony were his former coach, Jim Calhoun, another former UConn coach in Dee Rowe and Burrell’s loved ones.

“When they pulled the cloth off the number it was awesome to see,” Burrell said. “Coach recruited me to be a good player and I worked my butt off every day. I tried to do everything well and to help my team win.”

Feeding off the experience their head coach brings on a daily basis, McLeod said he tries to absorb everything Burrell tells him.

“He’s been through it all, he’s seen it all and he’s been at the highest level so he knows what he’s talking about,” he said. “I just make sure I’m always listening and engaged to what he’s saying.”

The team, which Burrell said has some injuries, will have another week to get healthy and strengthen themselves for next week’s Saint Rose contest. They will open up their home campaign Saturday, Nov. 17 with Le Moyne at 3:30 p.m.

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