Owls comeback falls short in home opener
Hunter Lyle – Sports Writer
In their first home game of the year, the men’s basketball team were unable to overcome the Le Moyne Dolphins losing 85-75.
The Owls were coming off a conference win against the College of Saint Rose on Nov. 14th, but fall to 1-3 on the year. The Dolphins improved to 2-1.
The Owls also came into this game missing several key players due to injuries, such as leading returning scorer, and youngest Southern player to hit the 1,000 points club, senior Isaiah McLeod, which is something head coach Scott Burrell said was a major factor in the loss.
“I think [injuries] has hurt us. You miss Joey [Wallace], you miss Isaiah McLeod definitely tonight, you miss Isaiah Boissard. I mean, you miss three guards,” said Burrel. “Competitiveness, competition, brings hunger and better talent, and if you don’t have that, some guys get comfortable in their jobs. Plus, it just makes practice better. So, we’re lacking that definitely.”
The game became physical early on, with sophomore Ulyen Coleman diving into the stands for a loose ball and bodies battling it out under the glass.
Then, Le Moyne got hot. The Dolphin’s potent offense, which seemed like they could score from anywhere, mixed with a struggling Owl defense, allowed Le Moyne to gain an early 26-12 lead with 7:30 left on the clock.
By the end of the first half, the Owls found themselves digging out of a 44-28 grave. Le Moyne shot 48.5% from the field (16-33), including 53% from deep (8-15), while Southern shot 36.7% from the field (11-30) and only 27.3% from behind the line (3-11).
Junior Taurus Adams II said during the break, Burrell had tried to instill some life and energy into the team.
“He just told us they were playing tougher than us and that we just needed to have that energy we always come with at practice,” said Adams. “We just needed that energy and that’s what we came out with in the second half.”
While the Owls entered the second half looking revitalized, eventually cutting the lead down to six with one-minute left. Foul trouble plagued the late game, and sent Le Moyne to the line to seal the game off.
Coleman, who had 12 points and five rebounds on the night, said the team severely lacked defense.
“We didn’t defend anybody really. They got straight line drives, they got whatever shot they wanted,” said Coleman. “I mean we just got to compete to be honest, there was no competitive effort on our end. We just have to do a better job, completely, on offense and defense.”
Burrell said the team needs to work on its overall team play and competitiveness for the next game, University of the Sciences on November 20th.
“[We need to do] a lot. Grow, mature, be competitive. Look in the mirror,” said Burrell. “Whatever it takes to win. Whatever they need to do to get themselves ready to win.”
Photo Credit: Southernctowls.com