Lions lose second in a row

As the season drew down to a close, the men’s basketball team dropped their second consecutive game last Saturday in a game against Central Arkansas University. Despite leading the Bears at half 33-31, the Lions were unable to retain their lead through the finish and settled with a 74-72 loss. 

Southeastern rode into Conway, Arkansas to take on the UCA Bears on a hot streak despite having lost to the UNO Privateers in their previous game. The Lions were 3-2 in their last five games going into the conference matchup. 

The Lions began the game by taking a 4-0 thanks to field goals coming from graduate student guard Cedric Jenkins and junior guard Jimmie Duplessis. The Bears brought the fans back into the game when they fought back and once again tied the game at 10-10 with 13:05 left in the first half. Both teams went on to trade the lead several times before senior forward DeVonte Upson hammered down a slam dunk with 00:16 left in the half to put the Lions up 33-31 beginning the second half.

It appeared as if head coach Jay Ladner had inspired his team during halftime, as the Lions came out in the second half and retained their lead all the way until 4:44 left in the game. The Bears did not look back once they tied the game up at 62-62. To the delight of the home crowd, UCA held the lead for the remaining time on the clock after they secured it off of a Mike Martin three-pointer at 3:19. The Lions lead reached seven at its highest point. 

Leading the Lions in points was Jenkins, who finished the game with 21 points off of 10-20 attempts. Three other Lions would join Jenkins in scoring double digit points. Duplessis scored a career high 16 points while Upson finished with 15 points and junior forward Daniel Grieves tacked in 10 points. Over in the rebounds category, graduate student Onochie Ochie topped the team with nine total rebounds. Jenkins followed closely behind him with eight rebounds.

Duplessis topped the Lions in assists, dishing out six. 

The Lions hope to bounce back from the loss and finish the season strong down the stretch. There is now only two games left before the Lions travel to Katy, Texas to participate in the Southland Conference Tournament, beginning March 11. Only the top eight teams of the conference will make it into the SLC Tournament and currently the Lions are sitting in the seventh spot of the conference. Rounding out the Lion’s remaining schedule is a visit to New Orleans Thursday to take on UNO and finishing the season with a game in the University Center this Saturday against Nicholls State. 

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