Lions clinch No. 2 seed in Southland tourney with road win over Demons

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
Jaylin Hinton
(Photo: Erik Williams/Southland Communications)

NATCHITOCHES, La. – With Saturday’s 85-80 win over Northwestern State Saturday on the road in Prather Coliseum, the Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team clinched the two-seed and a double bye in the Southland Conference Tournament which begins Wednesday in Katy, Texas.

The Lions (18-13, 10-4 Southland) will play Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Southland Tournament in Katy against an opponent TBA.

Southeastern had five players score in double figures in Saturday’s win over the Demons led by Jalyn Hinton with a season-high 27 points. The Boston native also added 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season while blocking four shots, giving him a league-high 65 rejections. Keon Clergeot scored 13 points and was 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Gus Okafor and Joe Kasperzyk contributed with 11 points each while Ryan Burkhardt added 10.

The Lions led by for much of the first half and had a 37-32 lead with 3:52 remaining until halftime. Southeastern roared on a 10-0 run to take their largest lead of the game of 15 points, 47-32.

The Demons (9-22, 5-9 Southland) stormed back to take the lead, going on a 16-0 run from the end of the first half to early in the second half as NSU led, 50-49.

With the game tied at 63-63, the Lions began to retake control as they used an 8-0 run to take a 71-63 advantage and put Northwestern State’s backs against the wall. The Demons, however, cut the Lions’ lead in half, but Okafor got an offensive rebound and slammed it down with authority to ignite Southeastern.

The Lions used Okafor’s monster jam to push their lead to 79-69 with 1:09 to go as they held on for the win, clinching the Southland’s number two seed.

“It’s huge to get the double-bye,” said SLU men’s head basketball coach David Kiefer. “We had to fight hard all game long against a very well-coached tough team that gives us problems every time we play them. We were outsized at the rim but we battled for 50/50 balls all game long and battled on the glass. We had poise again late in the game with making our free throws and taking care of the basketball when we needed to. I’m just really proud of our guys.”

SLU finished 26-for-31 from the free throw line and ripped down 12 offensive rebounds. The Demons, despite the size advantage, outrebounded the Lions just 41-40 while both teams scored 36 points in the paint.

“This team has shown a hate-to-lose mentality all year,” said Kiefer. “We feel like when we are playing our best basketball that we have the best team in the league. And that’s no slight to the rest of the league because we are well aware that any team can beat us in the league. But we feel confident that we can go and achieve our ultimate goal next weekend.”

Southeastern finished 7-for-25 from the three-point line upping the school record total to 278, just nine shy of tying the Southland Conference record of 287 held by Sam Houston (2010.)

Nicholls (21-10, 11-3 Southland) defeated New Orleans (17-12, 10-4 Southland) Saturday by a score of 82-75 to claim the Southland regular season title and the tournament top seed. UNO is the third seed. The remainder of the bracket will be released later Saturday night following the game between HBU and McNeese which tips off at 7 p.m.

Fans can tune into Friday’s semifinals contest as the game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Live stats will be available at the Southeastern men’s basketball schedule page at LionSports.Net

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 or (985) 549-5091 or visiting

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 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.

  • < PREV Southeastern drops doubleheader at No. 3 Arkansas
  • NEXT > LA Tech rolls over McNeese, 11-3