Nighthawks > TU Basketball Continues Slide

| January 19, 2015

thomas university mens basketball

Jason Hendrix, Thomas University Sports Information Director:

LAKELAND, FL – The Thomas University basketball team is looking for improvement, a quick turnaround, and a sense of determination after a tough 93-80 loss to Sun Conference rival Southeastern University Saturday afternoon at the Furnace.  The Night Hawks now face a four game losing streak to open the spring portion of their schedule.

Thomas started off with an explosive offense force to take the early 16-9 lead in the first five minutes of the game.  This seven point lead was the height for Thomas in the matchup and held true heading into intermission with the 32-27 lead.

The matchup, however, was a tale of two halves.  The Fire sparked a flame and took control of the game opening the second half with a 6-0 run.  This was Southeastern’s first lead since 8:07 remaining in the first half.  Each squad traded a brief handle of the lead before Southeastern’s Dana Thomas netted a jumper to give the Fire the 39-37 lead with 16:35 remaining in regulation.

Once they gained the lead, Southeastern did not let go.  The Fire surged to an 11 point, 51-40, lead with 13:35 on the clock.  The Night Hawks chipped away at Southeastern’s lead narrowing the gap to within four, 53-49, with just over 11 minutes remaining.  This effort though, was engulfed by the Fire, and they responded with an offensive fury to pull away for the 93-80 victory.

“I thought we played a well-rounded approach in first half,” stated head coach Stephen Cox. “We defended, rebounded, and shot the basketball well. We executed good team basketball. In the second half, we allowed 66 points. That’s way too many, home or on the road. We have to learn to focus early and late during play while being tired and finish our possessions.”

Senior forward Alan Love led all scorers in the game with 23 points.  The 6-foot-5, College Park, Ga., native was one of four Night Hawks in double figures for the evening.  Max Grace and Marcus Humose contributed 13 points in the contest while sophomore Adonai Rogers netted 11 points in the losing effort.

Thomas drops to 11-5, 2-4 in TSC play, on the year while Southeastern improves to 10-5, 4-2 on the year.

The Night Hawks return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 20 when they host Sun Conference rival, and second ranked nationally in the NAIA, Embry-Riddle at the TU Gymnasium. This game is the first of three games where NAIA coaches will participate in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer program.  Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Cox continued, “I’m looking forward to getting back on our home floor Tuesday.  Embry-Riddle is a great team; pretty much the same roster as last year. They are bringing in a school record 16-game winning streak and the number two ranking.  But, we’re good when we want to be as well. I’m looking forward to our great fans turning out and supporting Night Hawk nation this week as our coaches will be wearing tennis shoes to raise awareness and money for cancer research. If everyone donates a dollar or more, we have done our part to help the cause!”

Women Burned by Southeastern on the Road

A three day road trip came to a close this afternoon for the Lady Night Hawks of Thomas University returning home to Thomasville, Ga., with a win and a loss. Thomas, who defeated Johnson & Wales 69-68 on Thursday night, got burned by the Fire of Southeastern this afternoon at the Sportsplex 70-61 dropping to 9-5 on the season and 3-2 in Sun Conference play.

The Fire overpowered the Lady Night Hawks with perimeter shooting and headed into the intermission with a 28-21 lead over Thomas.

While the Lady Night Hawks regrouped during the half, their offensive presence in the first seven minutes of the second frame went missing in action. With 12 minutes remaining in the contest, Thomas began pressing hard on defense and started showing signs of a resurgent comeback. The Hunter Green and White converted six consecutive baskets to cap off a 12-1 run to cut the Fire’s lead to seven, 62-55, with 2:44 remaining on the clock.

While the valiant effort down the stretch showed determination, the Lady Night Hawks could not extinguish the Fire falling to the 70-61 defeat.

Senior Jessica Anderson led the way for the Lady Night Hawks scoring 20 points while bring down four boards and grabbing four steals. This is Anderson’s second 20 or more points game this season. Guard Courtney Saunds was the only other Lady Night Hawk in double figures netting 15 points. Saunds also brought down six rebounds, dished out two assists, and converted three steals in the losing effort.

Head coach Coretta Brown reflected on this afternoon’s game, “I thought we battled the second half of the game. We have got to do a better job of converting our shots inside and from the free throw line. Southeastern shot the ball extremely well from three (43 percent). We knew they would hit a lot of threes before we came into the game. Moving forward, we have to do a better job of taking opponents’ strengths away.”

Southeastern improves to 13-4, 5-1 on the year.

The Lady Night Hawks return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 20 when they host Sun Conference rival Embry-Riddle at the TU Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

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