Jay’Mi Vazquez- Managing Editor
Dillon Flanigan- Sports Editor
Despite playing well defensively and aggressively, the men’s basketball team fell short in a close game against the Assumption University Greyhounds. This was an NE-10 conference game at James Moore Fieldhouse.
The Owls were up in the first half by one point but unfortunately were unable to hold onto their lead successfully in the second half.
Assumption gained a 15-point lead in the second half, forcing our Owls to have a comeback towards the end. With three three-pointers, guard Sean James, a junior, got the team just shy of the win, with the final score being 79-76, leaving their season record to be 12-7.
“We played well; we played hard,” Head Coach Scott Burrell said. “We just need to finish with a possession. Got to be more aggressive and focus all the way through shot clock.”
Burrell said that the team needed more easy buckets and rebounds all throughout the game and not just toward the end of it.
“We need everybody focused, ready to contribute whatever it is, rebounding defensively shot blocks, blocked shots, whatever it is to contribute in a positive way,” Burrell said.
In the first half, the Owls struggled to get rebounds, having only 13 total compared to Assumption’s 24. However, Assumption had more turnovers in the first, giving the Owls an advantage to score easily.
At halftime, the Owls adjusted their gameplay, returning to the court trying to gain more rebounds and steals. Unfortunately, the Owls fell short in offensive and defensive rebounds, getting 31 in the second half compared to Assumption’s 40 total.
“We didn’t have a good time trying to grab offensive rebounds. We gave them a chance to have second-chance points,” forward Kazell Stewart, a sophomore, said.
Stewart played well all throughout the game, leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 34 points and 12 rebounds total. He showcased his dunking, free-throw shot and blocking abilities in the second half. Burrell informed Stewart that he wanted the team to play hard and help each other all throughout the game.
Guard Christian Joe, a freshman, was another player who was playing an aggressive in the game. In the second half, he scored 13 points after not scoring in the first.
“He is a huge spark for us, hustling, defensive plays, his scoring ability, he just brings a lot of energy, we have to get him more minutes too,” Burrell said.
Appearing in his nineteenth game off the bench, Joe led the team in minutes, rebounds and assists. He also had a personal best of four for four in free throws.
“Just knowing that I am a part of the team, and that I can help offensively, defensively. It really motivates me to help and do more for the team,” Joe said.
Although Joe had a good game, he said that in offensive rebounds Assumption got the best of the Owls and kept the team from getting second chance points.
“We were playing hard, but if we can’t get a stop, they keep on getting second chance points. We can’t cut down the lead,” Joe said.