Heartbreaker in Hammond

(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

HAMMOND, La. – Matthew Mondesir tipped in an offensive rebound with one second left to propel Central Arkansas to a 73-71 win over the Southeastern Louisiana men’s basketball team Saturday afternoon at the University Center.

Southeastern (4-11, 0-2 Southland) committed 15 first half turnovers leading to a 30-20 halftime deficit putting the Lions on course for their seventh straight loss.

Senior Marlain Veal led SLU with 27 points on four three-pointers. Moses Greenwood and Brandon Gonzalez each added 15.

Central Arkansas (6-9, 1-1 Southland) was led by DeAndre Jones with 18 points. Thatch Unruh added 12.

The Lions appeared to be in deep trouble early in the second half trailing 42-26 with 15:54 remaining. SLU, however, mounted a furious comeback. Southeastern went on a 16-3 run to cut the UCA lead to 45-42 with 12:53 remaining.

SLU took the lead with 3:39 left 62-60 on a lay-up by Veal assisted by Von Julien. The Lions and Bears traded buckets over the final three minutes until Mondesir tipped in a missed layup by Jones with one second left.

“I’ve just never been a part of something like this,” said fifth-year SLU head coach Jay Ladner. “Four games lost in the final seconds, I’ve been coaching 28 years and usually most teams lose maybe one game like this a year but we’ve lost four out of five. But we have to address the real issue which is the turnovers and 15 turnovers in one half is just untenable. You have no chance when you put yourself in that spot. I was proud of the way our guys fought back in the second half but we have just got to find a way to stop putting ourselves in these spots. And when we get to crunch time, somebody has simply got to make a play and stop hoping the other team misses or makes a mistake.”

Despite the 20 turnovers, the Lions improved at the free throw line shooting 12-for-13 from the charity stripe.

The Lions will have a week off before they return to action Saturday, Jan. 12 when they host Abilene Christian at 4 p.m. at the University Center.

Article courtesy of Southeastern Sports Information Department.

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