Lions open Southland play Saturday at home against Northwestern State
Published 12:52 pm Friday, January 14, 2022
The Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team opens Southland Conference play Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the University Center as it looks to extend its winning streak to five games.
Saturday’s game is a doubleheader featuring the Lady Lions (4-6) hosting Northwestern State (7-4) at 1 p.m. The first 75 fans to both the women’s and men’s games will receive a free ‘Lion Up or Leave’ foam finger.
The Lions (8-9) have won four in a row following Wednesday’s victory over Tougaloo College. SLU, the Southland Tip-Off champs, enters Saturday’s contest undefeated at home this year (4-0), including wins over Southeastern Baptist, Ecclesia and Paul Quinn College.
SLU has featured a balanced offensive attack through the first 17 games with three players averaging double figures.
Junior Gus Okafor leads the way averaging 14.2 points a night following his 15-point performance in Wednesday’s victory over Tougaloo. The Baltimore, Maryland native is shooting 76 percent (53-for-69) from the free-throw line and 38 percent from three-point range (30-for-79).
Senior Jalyn Hinton continues to lead the Southland in blocked shots with 35. Out of Boston, Massachusetts, Hinton is scoring 11.8 points per night on 58 percent (71-for-121) shooting. Hinton also leads the Lions in rebounding (7.3 rpg).
Reigning Southland Player of the Week Keon Clergeot has been the engine for the Lions. The senior guard is scoring 11.8 points per game and is third in the Southland in assists with 67. The Winter Haven, Florida native has also had five assists or more in each game during the Lions’ current four-game winning streak.
Senior Ryan Burkhardt has been on a tear of late from three-point range. The Lions’ senior is shooting 20-for-34 (58.8 percent) from behind the three-point line in his last six games, moving him to second in the Southland in three-pointers made (44).
The Lions enter conference play leading the league in three-pointers made (160). They are also tied for the league lead in assist/turnover ratio with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13-4) at 1.18.
The Demons (4-13), under head coach Mike McConathy, have been severely tested throughout the non-conference slate. Northwestern State has played nine true road games with three of them coming against teams ranked in the top 25 (top-ranked Baylor, 15th-ranked Houston and 19th-ranked LSU).
Northwestern State swept the season series against the Lions last year; however, SLU has won seven of the last 10 meeting. Saturday’s game marks the 143rd time the two teams have met with the Demons leading 87-55.
The Demons are led by freshman center Kendal Coleman in both scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.3). The Shreveport, Louisiana native is shooting 54 percent (108-for-199 from the field for the season. He also leads the team in steals (19) and blocked shots (11).
Fans can watch the live broadcast of Saturday’s game on ESPN+. The audio play-by-play of the contest will be available at LionSports.Net/ListenLive. Links to live stats will also be available at the Southeastern men’s basketball schedule page at LionSports.Net.
HARDWOOD CLUB/S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the basketball program are encouraged to join the Hardwood Club. Lion alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letterwinners. All membership fees and donations to Hardwood Club are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern basketball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Southeastern Basketball, follow @LionUpMBB and @DavidKieferSLU on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
For ticket information, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net/tickets. Southeastern is implementing mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets. All tickets will be available via e-mail in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.