Owls Fall To UNH In Late Season Test
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
The Owls (14-9, 9-6) fell to a three-way tie for second in the Northeast 10’s Southwest Division Wednesday when they lost to New Haven, which was tied with them, Le Moyne and Adelphi for first place at the time.
They came into the game strong, starting fast and building a 44-41 halftime lead behind senior guard Kealen Ives’ 14 first-half points but the second half was a different story as a lack of defensive pressure resulted in the Chargers taking the contest, 99-77.
“You can’t give a hot team easy threes,” coach Scott Burrell said. “We wore down, played a lot of guys in the first half. [We had] mental mistakes on defense and they came out and hit some early shots, got some confidence and started rolling.”
Elijah Bailey hit the 1,000-point mark for his Chargers career during the game and rolled with 32 points to lead all scorers, while Derrick Rowland also kept New Haven hot from three-point range en route to a 27-point performance.
“Hopefully we can get healthy and just play smarter,” Burrell said. “We need to compete better, stick to gameplans and we need guys who don’t get a lot of minutes to step up.”
Senior Joey Wallace, who was put into the rotation after Ulyen Coleman’s injury, tallied 11 points and five rebounds, while Ives finished with 26 and C.J. Seaforth hit 21.
“I’m not gonna mention names but guys have to step up,” Burrell said.
The Owls have five regular-season games left, starting with Saint Rose Saturday at home, as they will seek to secure a spot in the NE10 Tournament, something they’ve qualified for since the 2010-11 season, and they will hope to continue to be with the services of star senior guard Isaiah McLeod, who battled an injury during Wednesday’s second half.
“His ankle’s bothering him so we’ll see what happens,” Burrell said. “He’s a different player when he’s not healthy.”