Lions overcome 10-point 2nd half deficit for 89-84 win over HBU

Published 10:21 am Monday, February 14, 2022

Keon Clergeot scored 28 points to lead the Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat HBU 89-84 Saturday afternoon at the University Center

SLU (14-12, 6-3 Southland) also overcame a torrid shooting night from HBU (8-14, 4-5 Southland). The Huskies shot 15-for-32 for 47 percent from behind the three-point line while SLU was 6-for-17 from long range.

Jalyn Hinton had another impactful game scoring 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. The Boston native also had three blocked shots and recorded six assists. Gus Okafor also added 12 points and five rebounds.

But it was Clergeot’s hot hand that carried the Lions. The Winter Haven, Florida native scored 17 of his 28 points in the second half. Clergeot finished the game 10-for-16 from the field and 3-for-5 from behind the three-point line.

The Huskies were led by Brycen Long with 26 points on 7-for-11 from behind the three-point line. Khriston Courseault added 22 points and drilled five three-pointers.

Southeastern appeared to be in trouble early in the second half. With the Lions trailing 50-40 just three possessions into the second half, SLU head coach David Kiefer called a 30 second timeout to rally his team.

“We just needed to stop letting them be comfortable on the offensive end,” said Kiefer. “They’re a well-coached team that runs a lot of plays and a lot of good action. And we didn’t want to guard all that so we wanted to speed them up a little bit. And I thought we did a better job of that the rest of the way.”

Following the timeout, the Lions went on a 22-4 run to take a 62-54 lead with 12:44 remaining. The Huskies continued to battle but SLU maintained a two possession lead with under five minutes to go.

However, the Huskies cut the Lions’ lead to 75-74 at the final media timeout before Clergeot took over. He knocked down two free throws and drilled a three-pointer to give the Lions some breathing room, 80-74, with 3:27 left.

Freshman Roger McFarlane, who finished the game with nine points, provided the Lions with a spark as he scored layups on back-to-back possessions with under two minutes remaining to keep HBU at arm’s length. Then Clergeot put the final nail in the coffin as he got a steal and a slam dunk with 13 seconds left making it 87-81 as SLU improved to 7-1 at home this season.

Southeastern finished the game 36-for-60 (60 percent) while HBU was 29-for-65 (44.6 percent). The Lions outrebounded the Huskies, 37-28, and also scored 54 points in the paint to 24 for the Huskies.

“For them to hit 15 three-pointers and us to turn it over 18 times, that’s usually a recipe for a loss,” said Kiefer. “But for us to fight back and outrebound them and make big shots late, I’m very proud of our guys. We definitely picked up the defense in the second half and turned them over and made things hard for them.”

Next up, the Lions will travel to face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (16-9, 3-5 Southland) Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Islanders beat the Lions back on Jan. 27 in Hammond, 86-71.

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