Tougher competition to come

Junior guard Eddie Polanco inspired  the Lion’s first half comeback with 18 points in the half. He scored a career high 21 points in the game against Maryland Eastern-Shore Hawks.

Junior guard Eddie Polanco inspired  the Lion’s first half comeback with 18 points in the half. He scored a career high 21 points in the game against Maryland Eastern-Shore Hawks. 
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

The Lions basketball team extended their winning streak to 11 games with an 85-75 victory against Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks. 

Head Coach Jay Ladner believes it was not their best performance but was happy with the victory.

“We didn’t play our best,” said Ladner. “We’ve certainly played better. Not the prettiest win in the world, but I’m certainly proud of our team.”

 

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The team got off to a slow start trailing behind the Hawks 8-0 at the beginning of the first half. 

“We just didn’t come ready to play,” said junior guard Davon Hayes. “They came out and punched us in the face instead of vice versa.” 

Coach Ladner expected a tough game and was not surprised by the early setback. 

“This was not a typical 0-6 basketball team,” said Ladner. “They’re a very good team and they’re going to win a lot of games if they can stay the course. They came out swinging. That did not surprise us. We knew, and our players knew, and they had great respect for them. Well coached team, talented team. So, we took a tough punch early and our guys came back swinging and really responded well.”

A change in intensity set off a comeback for the Lions as they led by 16 points later in the first half.

“I thought we picked our defensive intensity level up,” said Ladner. “I thought that the press was effective for us which is something we spent time working on yesterday. I was glad that we were able to get that implemented. I thought that kind of disrupted their offensive rhythm a little bit.”

Junior guard Eddy Polanco led the comeback scoring career-high 21 points in the game, 18 of which came in the first half.

“It was great,” said Polanco. “I would like to thank my teammate for recognizing that I had a hot hand and for feeding me and stuff. It was a great team effort.” 

Senior center Dominic Nelson was happy with the victory after a tough round of games away from home.

“For me, I just like to win,” said Nelson. “It doesn’t matter to me who scores. I just like to see my teammates do well and I just like to win.”

Coach Ladner was also proud of the grit shown by the team after the away trips that took a toll on the players.

“What’s difficult is to go on the road and play UTEP, Colorado State and California,” said Ladner. “We had a long week. Yesterday, we really tried to grind and get them back on. We knew the importance of this game. I think our players kind of reached down a little bit inside of them because it wasn’t easy. That’s why I’m proud of them.”

Before the game, the first 300 students were handed out school packs consisting of university bags and scantrons keeping finals in mind.

The Lions played against Louisiana Tech at Ruston, LA on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

“They’re very, very good,” said Ladner. “They’re very athletic, a team considered to be one of the favorites to win the Conference USA. What I like about playing Louisiana Tech, it gives us another measuring stick. It is an opportunity for us to increase our brand by beating what’s considered a higher level school.”

The Lions were caught off guard 45-27 in the first half against Louisiana Tech at the Thomas Assembly Center. They did not recover from the early setback and lost the game 88-59. This loss means the Lions have a 5-4 overall record for the season.

The Lions return home for the game against Florida A&M University on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. Then, they take a road trip, playing three straight games away from home. They play University of Toledo, University of North Texas and Southern University. 

The Lions return to home to play against Southland Conference teams. They start off by playing Abilene Christian University and University of Incarnate Word. Later, they travel to play Houston Baptist University, University of Lamar and have a reverse fixture against Abilene Christian University.

The Lion's have now won 18 home games.

The Lions continue their homegame win. 
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

Sophomore guard Marlain Veal scored 17 points along with four assists and three steals in the game. With this win, the Lions extend their winning home record.

Sophomore guard Marlain Veal scored 17 points along with four assists and three steals in the game. With this win, the Lions extend their winning home record.  
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

 

 

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