Hundreds of students joined on Wednesday night to show support for the men’s basketball team in Southeastern’s annual “Jam the Jungle” event game against the Central Arkansas Bears.
The Lions won after going into overtime and staying behind the Bears for the majority of the game. The game finished with the Lions ahead of the pack with 75-71, denying the Bears’ fifth attempt at winning here in Hammond.
Starting off with a 7 point lead in the first half, the Bears kept the Lions defense on edge as they continued to keep a lead until the end of the second half.
At the head of the Lions charge in the first half was junior foward Roosevelt Johnson, scoring the majority of the points with 5 goals and 7 attempts in the first half before fouling out in the second half.
“The team did so good today, they really proved something to me,” said Johnson. “We get closer as a team when we compete and every night we’re ready to compete.”
After half-time, the Lions kept with the Bears at every point, however the Bears still had a lead. Picking up as lead for the Lions charge was senior center Elgin Bailey, continuing the game with 5 goals and 6 attempts. Bailey would later end up leading in stats with 7 goals and 10 attempts.
“The coaches motivated me and I talked to them before the game, said Bailey. “They told me to play with power that’s what i came here for and that’s how i play, i play with power. I will go at the other team flat and just go at it, i took that into perspective and just went with it.”
Towards the end of the second half the Lions were able to tie the game, 63-63, at the last minute with a 2-point goal by Bailey, forcing the game into overtime. While in overtime the Lions kept the heat on the Bears by staying in the lead every step of the way ending in the 75-71 victory.
This victory comes after the Lions’ defeat Saturday night against Nicholls State.
“I think one of the biggest disappointments on Saturday was that we don’t lose at home very much in the last few years that was the seventh loss in four years or five years, we don’t lose very much at home,” said head mens basketball coach Jim Yarbrough. “It means a lot to us when the students come out, at least for the Wednesday night games, it’s a big difference maker for us. The energy in the building gives you a home court advantage, that emotional push allowed us to come back tonight. Whether or not we would have had that with 500 people in the stands, I don’t know, but it’s a great thing to see.”
The Lions will be returning to the University Center next Wednesday in their home game against Lamar.
For more information on the men’s basketball team and upcoming games, visit www.lionsports.net.