Clergeot, Burkhardtl lead Lions to 83-78 road win over Cowboys
Published 9:06 am Friday, February 4, 2022
The Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team had four players score in double figures on their way to an 83-78 win over McNeese on Thursday at the Legacy Center in Lake Charles.
SLU (12-11, 4-2 Southland) was led by Keon Clergeot and Ryan Burkhart with 17 points each. Clergeot, a Winter Haven, Florida native, also had five assists and no turnovers. Burkhardt, the Southland’s leader in three-pointers made with 58, canned three from long range while finishing 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Gus Okafor added 15 points and six rebounds while Joe Kasperzyk scored 11 points off the bench.
Collin Warren led McNeese (8-15, 2-4) scoring 19 point off the bench on 6-for-9 shooting, including four three-pointers. Zach Scott added 17 points for the Cowboys while Christian Shumate and Brendan-Medley Bacon scored 15 and 10, respectively.
The Lions fell behind 8-0 to start the game but quickly rallied going on an 11-1 run. SLU continued to take control of the game in the first half as it made 12 out of 15 free throws and five three-pointers, giving Southeastern a 45-35 halftime lead.
In the second half, SLU stretched their lead to 59-44 with 15:01 left before McNeese cut the lead to 64-57. The Lions regained a double-digit lead as Roger McFarlane and Roscoe Eastmond hit back-to-back three-pointers starting a 12-2 SLU run giving Southeastern its biggest lead of the night, 76-59.
The Cowboys rallied back to cut the Lions’ lead to 81-78 with 38 seconds to go. McNeese had a chance to tie the game with nine seconds 23 seconds left but SLU’s defense came up with a stop and Burkhardt secure the rebound. The North Florida transfer sunk two free throws with six seconds left to clinch the victory as SLU defeated McNeese for the second time this season.
“I thought our team played very unselfishly,” said third year SLU men’s head basketball coach David Kiefer. “We executed very well in the half court offense and did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. McNeese is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country and we battled all night against them.”
The Lions were able to secure the win despite Jalyn Hinton being in foul trouble most of the night playing just 21 minutes. The Boston native entered Thursday’s game leading the team during conference play in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, free throws made, field goals made and field goal percentage.
“I thought we got some huge minutes from Joe (Kasperzyk) and Roger (McFarlane) when Jalyn (Hinton) went out,” said Kiefer. “They helped ignite us on both the offensive and defensive ends throughout the game.”
Next up, the Lions will travel to Houston, Texas to face HBU (6-13, 2-5 Southland) Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Sharp Gymnasium. Southeastern defeated HBU, 90-81, back on Jan. 6 in the first round of the Southland Tip-Off.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN+. The audio play-by-play will be available at LionSports.Net/ListenLive for the game. Links to video and live stats will also be available at the Southeastern men’s basketball schedule page at LionSports.Net.
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