Southeastern Second Half Rally Comes Up Short Created 1/16/2014 9:35:39 PM
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- In a matchup against NAIA Division II no. 1 Embry-Riddle, the Fire found themselves in an 18-point deficit with 13 minutes to play.
However, the men in the black uniforms refused to believe it was over, and battled back and got the game all the way down to four with 1:26 to play only to fall 77-69.
After struggling defensively, and allowing the Eagles to net 53% from the field, the Fire (13-3, 4-2 TSC) buttoned down defensively and forced the Eagles (17-1, 6-0 TSC) to commit five turnovers in a 2:27 span in which the Fire went on a 12-0 run to get back into the game.
“I think we found our identity in the second half,” said coach R-Jay Barsh. “We forced Embry-Riddle to make some mistakes, which is rare, but we need to do that in the first half.
“We can’t be a second half team all year.”
The Fire did lead 8-3 less than two minutes into the game when Jake Hodges completed a three-point play. The Eagles countered with a 17-3 run to jump out to a 20-10 advantage at the 10:15 mark of the half.
After trailing 27-16, the Fire rattled off seven straight points to make it a two-possession game with 5:56 left in the first. The hosts took a 37-31 lead into the locker room.
Senior Dwayne Johnson paced the Fire with a game-high 22 points, 13 of which he scored in the second half. Johnson also dished out nine assists. Hodges finished with a career-high 19 points. Junior Dana Thomas added nine points and eight rebounds.
The Eagles were led by DeForest Carter’s 19 points and 10 assists.
Southeastern next takes the floor on Saturday at The Furnace against Ave Maria.