The Demons break Lions heart and streak

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The Lions men's basketball team lost to Northwestern State University 85-71 ending their 17 game winning streak at home.
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion's Roar

The 16 game unbeaten streak at home got cut short as the Lions played Northwestern State University on the occasion of Jam the Jungle. 

The 85-71 loss on Wednesday, Jan. 25 result in an overall record of 12-9 and a conference record of 5-3 for the Lions.

“We didn’t play with energy and effort and just got worn out on the boards, 39-23,” said Head Coach Jay Ladner. “We’ve been a strong rebounding team and knew they were a strong rebounding team. Any time a team that has been playing well like we had and played like we did tonight, that’s on me.”

Ladner also credited the opponent for their efforts. He also pointed out some of the reasons behind the Lions coming short of winning.

“I want to give Northwestern credit,” said Ladner. “I’m not surprised, and I certainly expected it. We tried to make sure our players understood what type of game it was going to be. We just never got into any type of rhythm offensively, and we didn’t guard like we normally guard, and all that added up. From poor preparation on my part, to unexpected turn out events with our point guard, to just not playing with enough effort and intensity leads to what it led to, which is our first loss.”

The players were disappointed with the loss and expressed what the team is striving towards.

“It’s just frustrating,” said Davon Hayes, a junior guard. “I feel like we’re the best team in this conference. I’m saying that proudly, and it’s disappointing losing like that. We’re trying to build something, and it hurts when you give a game away like that.”

The fans came out in numbers in support of their Lions. Jam the Jungle provided the students and fans the opportunity to cheer their team while getting some perks and gifts at the same time.

“We had a great crowd, probably the biggest crowd we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Ladner. “It’s disappointing that we didn’t do our part. With that being said, we got to get back to work. We’re a better team than we showed out there tonight. We just got to do a better job.”

Along with the fans, players from other sports also came in to support the Lions. John Badgett junior pitcher for Lions baseball shared his view on the game.

“It was a good game,” said Badgett. “We came out for the men’s game, try to cheer them on and they gave a good effort today. They just basically didn’t come out on top today. They gave a good effort though.”

Badgett also shared how the baseball team came to support the Lions basketball team.

“We came to a couple of games last semester as a team, and Coach Ladner reached out to our Coach Riser and really thought that they could use our support coming to the game,” said Badgett. “We had a meeting today about it. It was an important thing where we can support other Lion athletic organizations.”

After this loss, Ladner described how the team will approach the games from here on.

“We’re gonna approach it just like we approach all of them,” said Ladner. “Our players are very smart and they know we need to play at a high level every time. Saturday is a great opportunity to get back to where we like to be playing, not let this be a hangover for us and start preparing tomorrow for the game against Houston.”

 

A second half surge of 50 points from Northwestern State resulted in a painful defeat for the Lions. However, the fans still had a good time during the tense affair on the day of Jam the Jungle. 
Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion's Roar