Late rally by Southeastern falls short in 72-68 loss to Kennesaw State

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BOONE, N.C. – The Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team held Kennesaw State without a field goal over the last 7:30 of the game, but the Lions just couldn’t overcome the 16-point deficit that preceded that KSU drought.

SLU fell in the opening game of the Appalachian State Multi-Team Event to the Owls 72-68 Friday afternoon at the Holmes Convocation Center.

The game couldn’t have started much better for the Lions as Southeastern scored the first six points as Brody Rowbury and Boogie Anderson hit baskets before Roger McFarlane hit a pair of free throws to put SLU up 6-0 just more than two minutes into the contest. Kennesaw State answered that with a 7-2 run to make it a one-point game.

After the two teams swapped buckets to make it a 10-9 Lions, Roscoe Eastmond hit a jumper in the paint and then a three-pointer as part of a 7-0 run, which Boogie Anderson capped with a lay-up to Southeastern its largest lead of the game at eight points, 17-9, with 12:30 left in the first half. SLU kept the Owls eight points back over the next few possessions as Sami Pissis and Mehdi Pissis answered KSU three-point buckets with makes from deep on their own, making it 23-15 Lions with 11:30 left before halftime.

Back-to-back Owl three-pointers started a 14-3 Kennesaw State run to give the Owls their first lead of the game at 29-26 with just less than seven minutes left in the half. Southeastern retook the lead for a bit as a bucket by Rowbury, a free throw by Anderson, and a pair of free throws by McFarlane put SLU up 31-29 with just more than four minutes left. But the last three minutes were dominated by the Owls as Kennesaw State ripped off a 17-3 run to take a 46-34 lead into the half.

SLU cut that deficit down to eight points several times over the opening moments of the second half. Trailing 55-46 with 13:40 left, a 7-0 Owl run opened up Kennesaw State’s largest lead at 16 points at 62-46. They would match that margin several times over the next few minutes, the last time at 67-51 with 7:30 left in the game.

But the bucket that gave the Owls that 67-51 lead would be the last shot from the field Kennesaw State would make in the game as the Owls went cold and the Lions made a run to take the game. Anderson started the run with a fadeaway jumper in the paint and Matthew Strange hit a three-pointer to keep it going. That was the beginning of a 17-2 SLU run, which cut the deficit all the way down to just a single point at 69-68 when Anderson hit another jumper with just over a minute left. However, the Lions comeback fell just shy as Kennesaw hit three-of-four from the free throw line down the stretch and an offensive foul ended a Southeastern possession with the shot clock off which could’ve tied the game with a three-pointer.

Anderson had his best game as a Lion so far in this young season, scoring a season-high 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting with four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. McFarlane added nine points, going a perfect six-of-six at the free throw line while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Eastmond, making his season debut, and Sami Pissis each finished with nine points as well.

Southeastern actually shot better than Kennesaw in the game, hitting on 45.1% to 44.6% for the Owls. Kennesaw doubled up the Lions on made three-pointers, 12-6, and second chance opportunities were key as KSU grabbed 11 offensive boards and scored 15 points off of them while SLU grabbed five offensive rebounds and got six second chance points.

The Lions (2-2) look to rebound on Saturday on the second day of the Appalachian State Multi-Team Event against Campbell, who knocked off the event’s host, Appalachian State Friday night. Tip-off of Saturday’s game against the Camels (2-1) is set for 4:00 P.M. EST/3:00 P.M. CST at the Holmes Convocation Center.

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 laa@southeastern.edu or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For more information on Southeastern Basketball, follow @LionUpMBB and @DavidKieferSLU on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

TICKETS
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.

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