NEW ORLEANS, La. – A buzzer beater layup by Southern University – New Orleans takes a late victory out of the grasp of the Owls men's basketball team. After battling back to tie the game, The W fell 72-70 in the Health and Physical Education Building, also known as The Castle, on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The Owls drop to 0-4 on the season.
Tre Pinkston led the Owls offense going 5-8 from the field, 3-4 in 3-point range and 2-3 from the free-throw line for 15 points. He also contributed eight assist and two rebounds.
DJ Clark recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The senior forward went 5-8 from the field and 3-6 at the free-throw line. He also added one steal and one assist to the effort.
Tavonta Jones once again got the action started for the Owls, scoring the first three points of the game a little over a minute after its start. Seconds later, the Knight's Terrance Collins answered with a 2-point field goal to trail the Owls 3-2.
Jonte Moultrie extended the Owls lead with a 3-point jump shot for a score of 6-2. The W held the lead for most of the first half but the tide began to change after the Knights made back to back free-throws capitalized on an Owl turnover for an additional two points to bring the score still in the Owls favor 14-8.
Another Owl turnover put the momentum in SUNO's hands and the Knights went on a scoring run to pull ahead of the Owls 17-16.
The two teams traded points and The W closed the half behind the Knights 35-33.
In the beginning of the second half, the Knights made back-to-back field goals to extend their lead over the Owls to 39-33.
Carlson Wilkerson entered the game and scored the Owls first two points of the half. Pinkston and Clark soon followed with 2-point field goals of their Owls to tie the game at 39.
For the rest of the game, the two teams battled to take the lead, tying the game four times. SUNO controlled the last shot and scored right before the buzzer to close the game 72-20.
"I was pleased with our effort," said head coach Brian Merkel. "Down late, our guys really kept their composure in a hostile environment to get the game tied. Unfortunately, they hit a tough shot at the buzzer. I'm proud of my guys and look forward to getting back after it after the Thanksgiving break."
As a team, the Owls shot 41.8 percent from the field (23-55), 24.1 percent in 3-point range (7-29), and 81.0 percent from the free-throw line (17-21). The W recorded 35 rebounds, 18 assists, and three steals.
Southern shot 39.3 percent from the field, 23.1 percent from beyond the arch, and 75.0 percent at the free-throw line. The Knights grabbed 40 rebounds, 16 assists, two blocks, and four steals.
The Owls will return to the court on Saturday, Nov. 24 when they take on the University of Dallas in the first game of the Millsaps Thanksgiving Classic. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. in the Hangar Dome located on the campus of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.