Men’s basketball picks up crucial win against Adelphi in Wallace’s return
Hunter Lyle – Sports Writer
In senior guard Joey Wallace’s first game back since Nov. 21, 2017, the men’s basketball team was able to beat NE-10 conference rival Adelphi University in a dominating fashion.
Wallace said playing in his first game in over a year was something he has been anticipating for a long time.
“It almost brings tears to my eyes, to be honest with you. I’m so happy to be back,” said Wallace. “I haven’t played in over a year, so just competing out there with my brothers, fighting, and most importantly, getting us back on the winning side.”
Wallace ended the game with 10 points, being one of five Owls to drop double digits in the scoring column in the 85-69 victory over the Panthers.
The game started with Adelphi looking strong. After dialing it in from deep, the Panthers quickly gained a 21-12 lead early in the first. Although down, the Owls were not out, and a quick five-point scoring burst from senior guard Kealen Ives sparked the Southern offense.
“Coach tells us to bring energy every play. If you want to make impact out there, you need to do it more than say it,” said Ives. “We’ve had problems, like at team meetings saying stuff and it not showing up on the court, so I just wanted to lead by example tonight and show guys that if we bring out energy on defense it’ll turn into easy offense.”
Once the offense got rolling, shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three, the rest of Southern’s game seemed to fall in place. Paired with the fluid offense, the Owls played lockdown defense on the other end. They were able to cause eight turnovers in the first and turned them into points on offense, scoring 18 points off turnovers compared to Adelphi’s four.
As the first half ended, the Owls were only slightly ahead, claiming a 43-39 lead, but looked eager to finish the Panthers off in the second.
The Owls picked up right where they left off and continued to hit shots all night, going on a 20-6 run late in the second to seal the game.
Head coach Scott Burrell said the stellar defense played by the Owls was the main reason for the victory.
“We played better defense. I think in the second half we played great defense. I think they shot 58 percent in the first half, 37 percent in the second half,” said Burrell.
“I think we wore them down, took good shots. We did the right things to win this game.”
In the second half, Southern poured on the offense, shooting over 60 percent from the field and went 3-8 from beyond the arc. Two players reached double-doubles during the game: Isaiah McLeod with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Luke Beesely with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
After beating Adelphi University, the Owls improved their record to 3-5, and 2-2 within the NE-10 Conference.
“[We plan to] keep winning. It’s as simple as that, but it starts on defense.
We can score at will with the guys we have, but if we don’t get stops, that means nothing,” said Wallace. “Our mindset going further is just being tough and getting defensive stops.”
Photo Credit: Southernctowls.com