Southeastern men’s hoops stun Wyoming with 76-72 road win

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:39 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:41 AM CST
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LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Southeastern Louisiana University men’s basketball team used a balanced attack, both offensively and defensively, to end the trip out west with a 76-72 win over the Wyoming Cowboys Sunday afternoon at Arena-Auditorium.

The Lions showed from the start this would not be an easy day for Wyoming. Trailing 6-5, a bucket by Brody Rowbury started SLU on a 9-0 run. That run was capped by Sami Pissis hitting a jumper to give Southeastern a 14-6 lead with less than 14 minutes remaining in the first half.

SLU maintained the lead throughout most of the remainder of the first half until Wyoming got on their own run to take a four-point lead at 32-28 with just less than four minutes left before halftime. But a three-pointer by Mehdi Pissis sparked an 8-0 Lions run to answer that as a Matthew Strange three made it 36-32 SLU with 2:45 to go before the break. The two teams would be deadlocked at 38-38 at the break.

Boogie Anderson’s lay-up to open the scoring in the second half again put the Lions out front, a place they were most of the game. Leading 44-43, another bucket by Anderson started a 7-1 SLU push got the lead up to eight points as Nick Caldwell scored on the inside to make it 51-43 Lions with less than 15 minutes left in the contest.

Wyoming answered with a 9-0 to take one of their few leads of the contest, but the Pissis brothers scored the next six points in the game with Sami hitting a three and Mehdi getting fouled shooting a three and hitting all three ensuing free throws to make it 57-52 SLU with 11:31 left.

Those six points kickstarted the biggest run of the game, a 19-7 Lion surge that gave Southeastern its largest lead of the contest as Christian Agnew beat the Wyoming defense down the floor following a made Cowboy free throw for a transition basket to give Southeastern a 70-58 lead with less than 3:45 remaining in the game.

But the Lions would have to hold on as Wyoming made one last push the steal the win in the closing moments as the Cowboys went on 14-4 run to make it a one-possession game with just more than 30 seconds left. Roger McFarlane would hit a couple of big free throws to make it a two-possession game again with 23 seconds left and the defense made it stand up to preserve the win.

“That was a total team effort,” said SLU head men’s basketball coach David Kiefer. “I couldn’t be prouder of our effort and unselfishness. We did a great job of showing poise late in the game and took good shots and defensively that might have been the best effort we have had since I have been here.”

Breaching the starting line-up for the first time as a Lion, Agnew led SLU in scoring with 15 points in the win on five-of-nine shooting, including two-of-four from deep. Donte Houston was the only other Lion in double figures in points with 13 on six-of-10 shooting, hit his lone three-point attempt in the game, and grabbed four rebounds. All ten SLU players who entered the game scored, seven of which scored more than five points. Roger McFarlane became the first SLU player with double-digit rebounds in a game this season, grabbing 10 boards. Anderson dished out a team-high five assists while scoring eight points.

As a team, Southeastern hit on 48.3% of their shots in the contest. That includes hitting 11 three-point attempts on 47.8% shooting from above the arc. SLU’s defense held Wyoming to just 31.3% shooting from the field and 31.0% from long distance. The defensive intensity really picked up in the second half where Southeastern held Wyoming to just eight made shots from the field in the entire period and 25.0% shooting and three made shots from deep at a 15.8% clip.

With the trip west now complete, the Lions (2-1) now head out east to Boone, N.C. for the Appalachian State Multi-Team Event next weekend to wrap up the five-game road swing. Southeastern’s first game in that event will be against Kennesaw State. Tip-off against the Owls (1-1) is set for 4:00 P.M. eastern/3:00 P.M. central on Friday at the Holmes Convocation Center on the Appalachian State campus.

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