Men’s basketball finishes tournament strong

Seaforth and Boissard lead Owls’ comeback in crunch time surge to claim victory over Goldey-Beacom

Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

One more stop. That is what head coach Scott Burrell screamed with a raspy voice as the final minutes of the tournament game against GoldeyBeacom College ticked down. However, despite a nail-biting 14-point comeback, Burrell’s voice was the only thing the Owls lost, beating the outof-conference Lightning 72-67.

The men’s basketball team kicked off its official season with the University of Bridgeport Crossover Challenge, a tournament held at the Bridgeport University gymnasium that brings together talent from across the East Coast. The Owls played their first game of the season and tournament on Friday, losing to Post University 69-64.

Burrell said playing in tournaments, which the Owls have done for the past two years in a row, is good for the team. Since they get to face teams they usually would not, he said, tournaments allow the Owls to see how competitive they are with un-scouted teams.

“It gets you into the heat of the season right away,” said Burrell. “There are no cake walks. You’ve got to come ready to play.”

The first half of the game against the Lightning was a rough one for the Owls. Defensive and offensive struggles forced Southern to constantly be one step behind their competition from Delaware. Guard Isaiah Boissard, a redshirt junior, lead the scoring for the Owls in the first half, going into the break with nine points off 4-6 shooting (33 percent).

Between the team’s field goal percentage — 58 percent from the field, 38 percent from three-point range — and their star guard who finished the first half with 19 points, Goldey-Beacom seemed to be in full control of the game, and held the lead going into the break 40-33.

At the start of the second half, the Lightning seemed to be picking up where they left off, starting with a slam dunk from one of their forwards. Out of the gates, Goldey-Beacom went on an 11-4 and shortly after gained their largest lead of the game at 15. It seemed that they were getting everything they wanted, while on the other hand, Southern was finding it hard to collect any sort of momentum.

“They came out with more energy. We came out flat,” said Burrell. “Nothing [against] our team, but we have five new starters. We still haven’t gelled together. We [were] hesitant on offense and defense.”

The game was also becoming increasingly hostile, with both teams becoming verbally aggressive, including the Goldey-Beacom coach. Throughout the game, there were two technical and one flagrant foul, all called on the Lightning. Southern’s bench was warned once or twice. Guard CJ Seaforth said the trash-talking on the court, which he participated in, helped unite and motivate the team.

“Everybody was getting energized. Everybody was getting ready, getting pumped up — blood flowing, head popping,” said Seaforth. “We came together.”

After sinking two free throws from a technical foul, Seaforth started leading the Owls towards a comeback. With nine minutes left in the game,
Goldey-Beacom was up by six. However, the scoring and passing from the Owls, as well as their now-tight defense, gave the Owls a one-point lead with only minutes left.

For the rest of play, both teams went back and forth, changing the lead four times with under three minutes to go. Eventually, thanks to the perfect night from the free throw line from Seaforth, who ended 1010 from the line, the Owls claimed victory 72-67.

Three Owls scored in double-digits that night: Seaforth, who ended with game-high 25 points, as well as six rebounds and four assists; Boissard with 16 points and six rebounds; and forward Greg Jones, a junior and a transfer from DI James Madison University, who tallied 11 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Boissard said he believes that this game, and more specifically the 15-point comeback, shows that this team is going to be a force in the NE10.

“It shows that we have heart,” said Boissard. “We’re not going to go down easy. We’re going to fight no matter what.”

Photo credit: Hunter O. Lyle 

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