Southeastern battles back, fights to end but falls to ACU in Southland semifinals

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KATY, TEXAS – The Southeastern Louisiana Men’s Basketball team left everything they had on the floor in Friday’s 69-66 loss to Abilene Christian in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament at the Merrell Center.

Marlain Veal led the Lions with 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting. The senior added six assists and four rebounds as he ended his career the second leading scorer in program history (1,666 points). The New Orleans, Louisiana native is also the all-time leader in games played (132), assists (595) and steals (220) and third in free throws (451).

Junior Von Julien scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds while shooting 5-for-11.

SLU’s leading scorer Moses Greenwood (17.4) scored 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting. The Sharon, Mississippi native spent much of the game in foul trouble playing just 23 minutes. The 2019 first team All-Southland selection finished his career as the fourth all-time leading scorer in SLU history (1.513). The senior is second in games played (131), second in field goals made (598), third in blocked shots (104) and fifth in rebounding (765).

The Lions held ACU to just 39 percent shooting (20-for-51) while shooting 23-for-47 (48 percent). SLU, however, committed 17 turnovers leading to 21 points off turnovers for the Wildcats.

The Lions (17-16) fell behind in the first half trailing by as many as 13, 33-20, and were down, 37-27, at halftime as ACU (26-6) made five first half three-pointers.

SLU came out relentless defensively in the second half. The Lions held the Wildcats to just two points in the first 6:20 of the second half but still trailed, 39-32, with 13:40 remaining.

ACU led 53-44 with 7:14 to go when SLU mounted a championship caliber rally. The Lions pulled to within one, 54-53, after a three-pointer by Kajon Brown and a layup by senior Keith Charleston.

After a perfect ally-hoop lob from Julien to freshman Ty Brewer and two free throws by Julien, SLU took their first lead of the game, 57-56, with 2:42 to go.

With the Lions leading 59-57, ACU’s Payton Ricks drilled a three-pointer from the wing to give the Wildcats a 60-59 lead with 1:59 to go.

ACU never relinquished the lead from there as they hit a three-pointer, a jumper and four straight free throws to hold off the Lions furious rally and advance to the Southland Conference Championship game.

“I thought they got after us early in the first half,” said fifth-year SLU head coach Jay Ladner. “We turned it over too much early but we fought our hearts off in the second half and were one shot or one play away from winning this game. We had some opportunities that we didn’t convert but the effort was remarkable. We fought hard all season long to get back to this point after starting off a little slow but this team and group of guys never gave up.”

The Lions held ACU to just 39 percent shooting (20-for-51) while shooting 23-for-47 (48 percent). SLU, however, committed 17 turnovers leading to 21 points off turnovers for the Wildcats.

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 @SLU_Hoops and @CoachLadner on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

BOX SCORE

ABILENE CHRISTIAN 69, SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 66

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (17-16)
Veal, Marlain 7-16 4-4 20; Julien, Von 5-11 5-6 16; Greenwood, Moses 3-7 4-6 10; Brewer, Ty 3-4 2-2 9; Brown, Kajon 3-5 0-2 7; Charleston, Keith 2-3 0-1 4; Starwood, Maxwell 0-0 0-0 0; Edwards, Parker 0-0 0-0 0; Saunders, Jeremiah 0-0 0-0 0; Gonzalez, Brandon 0-1 0-0 0; Diop, Pape 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-47 15-21 66.

ABILENE CHRISTIAN (26-6)
Ricks, Payten 6-12 4-6 21; Lewis, Jaren 6-14 4-6 17; Daniels, Damien 1-4 10-10 12; Franklin, Jaylen 4-7 1-2 10; Pleasant, Joe 2-3 2-2 6; Kohl, Kolton 1-1 0-0 2; Farquhar, Hayden 0-9 1-2 1; Cameron, Tobias 0-1 0-0 0; Lenox, Trey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 22-28 69.

Southeastern Louisiana…….. 27 39 – 66
Abilene Christian…………….. 37 32 – 69

3-point goals–Southeastern Louisiana 5-17 (Veal, Marlain 2-9; Brewer, Ty 1-1; Julien, Von 1-4; Brown, Kajon 1-2; Gonzalez, Brandon 0-1), Abilene Christian 7-20 (Ricks, Payten 5-10; Lewis, Jaren 1-2; Franklin, Jaylen 1-1; Farquhar, Hayden 0-6; Cameron, Tobias 0-1). Fouled out—Southeastern Louisiana-None, Abilene Christian-Franklin, Jaylen. Rebounds—Southeastern Louisiana 31 (Julien, Von 7), Abilene Christian 31 (Lewis, Jaren 11). Assists–Southeastern Louisiana 10 (Veal, Marlain 6), Abilene Christian 11 (Franklin, Jaylen 5). Total fouls–Southeastern Louisiana 22, Abilene
Christian 22. Technical fouls–Southeastern Louisiana-None, Abilene Christian-None. A-2100

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