Lions fall in second round of Southland Tournament

Senior+guard+Keon+Clergeot+pushes+through+the+Cowboys%27+defense+and+goes+for+a+shot+during+the+last+home+game+of+the+2021+season+against+McNeese+State+University+on+Feb.+24.+

Brynn Lundy/The Lion's Roar

Senior guard Keon Clergeot pushes through the Cowboys’ defense and goes for a shot during the last home game of the 2021 season against McNeese State University on Feb. 24.

The Lions fell to the University of New Orleans 80-63 in the second round of the Southland Conference Tournament to end their COVID riddled 2021 season with a final record of 8-18. 

At the start of the season, the Southland preseason poll predicted for the Lions to finish thirteenth in the Conference, but Southeastern defied the odds and finished ninth. 

Second-year head coach, David Kiefer explained how the 2021 men’s squad is the toughest team he’s ever coached. 

“This group of guys have a lot of fight in them to say the least. I’m not trying to make excuses but we only had eight scholarship guys on the floor. Isiah Kirby had a bleeding bruise on his hip and Keon Clergeot had a bruise on his elbow the size of my head,” Kiefer said. 

Kiefer stated how the 17 turnovers in Wednesday night’s loss did not help the Lions.

“It’s hard to win a game when you have 17 total turnovers. Our guys fought hard all night but the turnovers is what came back to bite us in the end,” Kiefer said.

Kiefer shared why he wants the Lions to remember this feeling heading into next season. 

“I want us to remember this feeling for next season. We got a lot to work on over the offseason, one thing we are going to do is work on Kirby’s left hand this offseason,” Kiefer stated. 

Southeastern plans to return 12 players from the 2021 season into next year as Kiefer feels the team still has a lot to build on. 

“This is just the beginning for us. Most of our team is returning for next season and I hope we can build off that and play into late March and win a championship,” Kiefer said.