Lions stumble out the gate early, winning streak evaporates versus the Islanders


Hydee Holsapple

Three Lions and a lone Islander fight for a rebound during SLU’s 83-72 loss vs. TAMU-CC at the University Center on Saturday. (Feb. 4, 2023)

In the first nationally televised home game in school history, Southeastern came up short to a hungry Texas A&M-Corpus Christi team, 83-72, falling to 14-10 (8-3 SLC) on the season.

The contest was broadcast on ESPNEWS in front of 3,107 roaring fans at the University Center. This was the eighth-highest attended contest in men’s basketball history for the Lions and the most fans since January of 2006 at a game. 

TAMU-CC took the crowd out of it early on, storming to a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the first half. SLU never seemed to gain its footing and found themselves down by 20 points (48-28) heading to the locker room. 

Southeastern came out guns blazin’ to start the second half, draining four consecutive threes (three from Roger McFarlane), but the Islanders always seemed to have an answer. 

Senior Islander point guard Terrion Murdix torched the Lions for a career-high 23 points and scored eight straight points for TAMU-CC including two threes during SLU’s strong spell. 

The Lions just couldn’t get within striking distance and ultimately fell by 11. 

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi proved to be Southeastern’s menace once again after knocking off the Green and Gold in Katy, Texas during last season’s Southland Conference Tournament Championship. 

SLU got their get back a few weeks ago on Jan. 12 in Corpus Christi 85-82 in overtime, but the loss today drops them level with the Islanders for first place atop the conference standings. 

Despite the losing effort, there was a lone bright spot for the Lions, Roger McFarlane. 

The sophomore guard out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. dropped a career-high 28 points on 10/15 shooting and was an efficient 5/8 from three-point land while also adding a joint team-high – eight rebounds.

“My teammates being unselfish and moving the ball and me being shot-ready… With the confidence that I have and the work I put in, my shot was falling,” said McFarlane on what contributed to his hot-shooting hand against TAMU-CC. 

Nick Caldwell found himself in double-figures for the sixth straight game as well. The junior forward scored 14 points and joined McFarlane with eight rebounds to pace the squad. 

Season leading scorer Boogie Anderson finished with 14. 

Southeastern shot an underwhelming 21/53 (39.6%) from the floor while Corpus Christi went 31-67 (46.3%) on the day. 

However, the main culprit for the Lions’ loss was their inability to rebound. The Islanders were active on the glass and held the edge 44-28 in that department creating 21 second chance points, whereas SLU finished with two. 

“We ran into a team that wasn’t going to allow us to come back. You can’t put yourself in a hole against a good basketball team that early… They were the more aggressive team. The more tenacious team. We came out lackadaisical and flat,” lamented Head Coach David Kiefer on what went wrong during his side’s loss, particularly in the first half. 

All in all, Kiefer’s team has won eight of its last 10 games and still controls its own destiny within the Southland Conference despite seeing its four game winning streak end. 

Next up is a road tussle in Lake Charles with last place McNeese who are a lowly 5-19 (2-9) on the season. 

Any game in the Southland is a challenge and Southeastern must be up to the task if they intend to get this sour taste out of their mouths.

Tip-off is for Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tune in to ESPN+ to catch the action.