Lions pull away from SUNO in home men’s hoops exhibition

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HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana fans got a first look at their 2016-17 men’s basketball squad as the Lions pulled away to an 81-53 exhibition win over Southern-New Orleans Wednesday night in the University Center.

Twelve Lions saw action, including six of the team’s newcomers, as they worked through the usual first-game adjustments.

“Like we told the team, there were some good things and obviously some things we have to address,” Southeastern head coach Jay Ladner said. “But I’m glad they got to kind of see where we are. It isn’t just the coaches harping on things. Now they will have an opportunity to see realistically what we are preparing them to do. We’ve got a lot to work on but we have a good group of guys. Their attitude has been great. I think if, like the coaches, they look at themselves, look at our team in a constructive, critical way, in a sense that they know let’s take this game and look at it, evaluate it, correct mistakes and move forward, I think we have a chance. I saw some good things out there, but we have a long way to go.”

Sophomore Jordan Capps led Southeastern with 23 points. Junior Davon Hayes and sophomore Marlain Veal both added 13 points while junior Jabbar Singleton 10 as the Lions shot 58.8 percent from the field. Capps, Hayes and senior Dominic Nelson each had seven rebounds as Southeastern held a 42-36 advantage on the boards. Veal also had four assists and two steals while Singleton had three assists and two steals. Nelson had a team-high three blocks.

Southeastern held SUNO to 29.8 percent from the field. Kenneth Thomas had 14 points and Dominique Suggs 10 to lead the Knights.

The Lions never trailed after taking a 5-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Hayes with 18:54 left. SUNO tied it at 5 on a 3 by Suggs but Southeastern answered with an 11-3 run to go up 16-8 on a Moses Greenwood jumper at the 12:58 mark. The Knights pulled to within 20-17 on two Thomas free throws at 9:39. But a 10-2 run, capped by a three-point play by Capps, gave the Lions a 30-19 lead with 6:07 left in the half.

A three-point play by Greenwood gave Southeastern its biggest lead of the half at 41-26 with 1:43 left. A layup by D’Ante Russell-Hall pulled SUNO to within 43-32 at the half.

Southeastern broke the game open with a 17-6 run to open the second half. Capps accounted for eight of the points and also assisted on a dunk by Nelson. After a layup by Veal, Capps gave the Lions a 60-38 lead with a jumper with 12:36 remaining.

Giovanni Lee drove in for a layup to make it 60-43 with 10:08. But SUNO got no closer as Southeastern went on a 14-6 run over the next six minutes to push its advantage to 74-49 with 3:50 left. A 3 by freshman Michael Corchiani have the Lions their biggest lead at 81-49 with 1:28 remaining.

Southeastern will host LSU-Alexandria in another exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. before opening the regular season at home against Millsaps at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.

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