Strange, Anderson both hit buzzer beaters, Lions end losing streak in OT
COMMERCE, Texas – The Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team got a buzzer-beating three from Matthew Strange to force overtime, and then got a buzzer beater from Boogie Anderson in the extra period to win it Saturday afternoon at Texas A&M-Commerce, 78-76.
Ending a four-game losing streak by earning the season sweep of the Southland’s other Lions, SLU officially clinched its place in the Jersey Mike’s Southland Conference Basketball Championships presented by LouisianaTravel.com.
Southeastern jumped out quick, getting a layup by Brody Rowbury and a three from Roger McFarlane to take a 5-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the contest. A&M-Commerce scored the next four to make it a one-point game, and then the two teams traded baskets to give SLU a 7-6 lead before the Lions rattled off six straight points with a layup by McFarlane giving Southeastern the largest lead either team held all contest long at seven points, 13-6, with 13:45 left before halftime.
The homestanding Lions answered SLU’s run with a 13-4 run of their own as A&M-Commerce took its first lead of the contest at 19-17 with nine minutes left before halftime. The largest lead either team had the remainder of the half was four points, which A&M-Commerce held at 33-29 with four minutes remaining. The half ended just like it started, all even, as the two teams went to the locker room tied at 38-38.
SLU held the largest lead either team could manage in the second half as well as McFarlane took advantage of an A&M-Commerce turnover for a transition layup and a five-point lead at 48-43 with 13:30 left in regulation. Southeastern matched that lead with 5:30 left as McFarlane split a pair of free throws to make it 62-57.
However, turnovers reared its ugly head for SLU as two straight miscues turned into A&M-Commerce transition points, and then a miss turned into two more fastbreak points for the Lions in blue as TAMUC took the lead with less than four minutes left, setting up for a furious finish. The lead would change hands six times and be tied another three as a pair of A&M-Commerce free throws put the home team up 69-67 with less than 20 seconds left. After a SLU miss and A&M-Commerce made one of two at the stripe to make it 70-67.
With 3.3 seconds left, the inbounds got to Anderson who zipped a pass down into the corner to Strange who buried the left-corner three at the buzzer to force overtime.
Overtime was just as close as the two regulation periods as neither team led by more than a single possession, the lead changed hands five times and the score was tied twice. But it all came down to the closing moments with the game tied at 76-76 as A&M-Commerce missed a shot to take the lead and Anderson cleared the rebound. Anderson would not give the ball up, running the clock down before attacking, dribbling behind the back to get rid of the defender and get to the right elbow where he floated up a shot just before the buzzer sounded which found nothing but the bottom of the net for the game-winning points.
“I’ve got to give credit to our guys for fighting until the last second,” said SLU head men’s basketball coach David Kiefer. “Our guys rebounded the ball tonight. Boogie Anderson had a great individual play to score the last one, but he also made a tremendous pass to Matt Strange at the end of regulation. A few plays didn’t go our way late and we didn’t hang our heads, we were able to go on to the next play. I’m proud of Strange. He’s put a lot of work in and deserves that moment. It was a great team effort all around.”
The game-winning points at the buzzer gave Anderson a new season high in points as a Lion for the graduate transfer. He hit 10 of his 16 shot attempts and four of his six free throw attempts, grabbed five rebounds, and was credited with six assists. After several games getting close, McFarlane achieved his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to go with two assists. Brody Rowbury hit all five of his shot attempts and both free throw attempts to finish with 12 points while also grabbing six rebounds. Alec Woodard scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists, and was credited with three steals. Nick Caldwell finished the game with 10 points and six rebounds. Strange’s three to force overtime was his only made shot of the evening, was one of just three made three-pointers on the evening by Southeastern and the only one not made by Woodard.
Both teams shot well in the contest with Southeastern hitting on 53.4% of their shots while A&M-Commerce connected on 50% of theirs. But two keys were second chance points, which SLU held a seven-point advantage in, and free throw line, where Southeastern hit 72.2% of their attempts while A&M-Commerce hit 58.3%.
The win ensured the Lions (15-13, 9-6 SLC) are now locked into the eight-team Jersey Mike’s 2023 Southland Conference Basketball Championships presented by LouisianaTravel.com. Southeastern will look to improve its seeding for the tournament as it finishes its three-game road swing on Thursday in Beaumont, looking to complete the season sweep against Lamar. Tip-off of Saturday’s contest against the Cardinals (9-19, 5-10 SLC) is set for 7:00 p.m. in the Montagne Center and will be live streamed on ESPN+.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
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 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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