League leaders push Lions to four game losing streak

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Redshirt sophomore guard Dimi Cook, battles to finish his move in the first half. In the game, the Lions found it difficult to score shooting at .375.   
Nikisun Shrestha/ The Lion's Roar

The Lions basketball team slumped to only their second loss at home this season against University of New Orleans this past week.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the Lions were unable to get past the league leaders as they lost the game 60-52.

“It was a tough one,” said Head Coach Jay Ladner. “Generally when you hold someone to 32 percent from the field, you have to win the game. We rebounded with them but we can’t survive with our amount of turnovers. I think turnovers and the foul differential, and I’m not blaming the officiating, in allowing them to shoot 27 free throws compared to our 12 was the difference in the game.”

Ladner thought the inconsistency in shooting and finishing cost the Lions the game.

“We didn’t take care of the ball,” said Ladner. “Just missed shot after shot after shot at the rim, had open looks on perimeter, but again not giving ourselves the chance. Very frustrating, got a chance to beat the league leader here at home, just didn’t get it done. We got to find ourselves. We got some individuals that are very inconsistent in terms of shooting the basketball. We got one nights, can’t miss, next night, can’t buy one. Gotta find some consistency somewhere and that makes it difficult, cause you’re hoping to kinda get that consistency.”

The game also saw continuous malfunctioning of the clock. The delays broke the rhythm of the team while they were on top. Ladner thinks the game was lost due to other reasons.     

“The difference was 23 turnovers and the fact that they went to foul line 27 times compared to our 12 was a little bit hard to overcome,” said Ladner. “No rhythm on offense. Again, we got to go back our point guard play, which was not very good tonight. I thought our effort was good. I thought our guys got after it, they continued to give us chances. It came down to turnovers and not getting a few key stops here and there.”

However, Ladner found some positives in the game and was proud of the defense.

“We got to defensive practice in the last few days,” said Ladner. “It was good to see that, real proud of that. We did have a bright spot tonight. I think Big Dom played like he’s played earlier in the year. At 14 rebounds, played a lot of minutes tonight cause he was being effective in there.”

Senior center Dominic Nelson had four blocks to add to his 14 rebounds in the game, but he was frustrated with the result. 

“Yeah it’s pretty frustrating cause every game we lost were every one that we thought we should have won,” said Nelson. “They didn’t shoot good tonight. I feel the next time we see them, we’ll be ready for them.”

Ladner believes this is now a rebuilding process and wants to make the best out of the games that are remaining.

“Our teams have been very, very solid and play smart,” said Ladner. “They understand how to hold leads and protect leads. Sometimes with the shot clock, you gotta make a couple of baskets. We had some wide open looks too and we just don’t knock those shots down. We have to bounce back. Go to Northwestern next week. Got five left, got our hands full to make of this tournament.”

The Lions play away at Northwestern State on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.

 

First responders rolled the American Flag before singing the National Anthem on Heroes Day.
Nikisun Shrestha/ The Lion's Roar