The Lion’s return to the University Center was spoiled last Wednesday by a 68-82 defeat to the visiting LSU Alexandria Generals. A 15-point deficit proved to be too much for the Lions to fight out of as Southeastern trailed the Generals from start to finish.
“You have to give LSU Alexandria a lot of credit,” said head coach Jay Ladner. “They shot the ball well and were highly motivated. I told Coach [Larry] Cordaro he did a great job. He has a great team, and they deserve a lot of credit for the way the game started.”
Both teams battled throughout the opening minutes of the game, neither starting five able to take a double digit lead over the other. It was when the bench players took to the court that the Generals began to separate themselves from Southeastern. LSU Alexandria’s depth paved the way for the Generals eventual victory by not only maintaining, but build upon the lead over the Lions. The LSU Alexandria bench outscored the Lion’s bench 33-10 in the first half.
The Generals were also able to capitalize on Lions’ mistakes, scoring 12 points off of Southeastern turnovers. The Lions soon found themselves down by 20 points with three minutes left in the first half, although they were able to close the gap to 30-45 as the first half came to an end.
Southeastern finally began to show signs of life in the second half, but not before allowing the Generals’ lead grow to as much as 27. It was at that point that the Lions began to slowly craw their way back into the game. The Lions pulled within 11 points with five minutes remaining in the game, but would come no closer.
The second half featured an improved Southeastern team coming out of the locker room. The Lions outscored their opponents 11-8 in points off of turnovers in the second half and held the opposing bench to only 12 points.
“At halftime we wanted to challenge them. It was simple; we weren’t playing hard enough,” said Ladner. “We just weren’t playing with as much effort as we needed too, especially on the defensive end. Once our defensive intensity kicked up, it fed our offense and were able to score and do a much better job.”
Freshman guard Dimi Cook and Senior guard Zay Jackson led the Lions in scoring, chipping in 14 points each. Sophomore forward James Currington secured 10 rebounds to lead Southeastern in rebounds.
“In the second half, I was trying to get everybody involved and lifted,” said Jackson. “It was just about trying to win the game and push the ball. They [LSU Alexandria] came out and wanted it more than us from the beginning.”
The Lions will be in action again this Wednesday when take on Xavier at the University Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.