Fire Drop Close Contest against Mariners

by | Feb 8, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

LAKELAND, Fla.— The Fire men’s basketball team was unable to hang on in a back-and-forth battle versus the College of Coastal Georgia Mariners Thursday night in the Furnace. After leading by eight at the break, Southeastern was outscored by 12 in the second half as CCGA claimed the contest by a score of 91-87.

Coastal Georgia started the competition at a phenomenal scoring pace. With a 12-11 advantage just five minutes into the game, CCGA went on a 17-8 run in the next 4:42 to open up a 29-19 lead halfway through the first period. The ten-point advantage was the largest cushion by either team in the matchup.

The Fire then responded with a scoring stretch of their own, notching 35 points in the remaining ten minutes of the half to go up 54-46 at the break. The first frame was capped off by Isaiah Moody’s buzzer-beating layup as time expired, which gave the sophomore his 10th and 11th of 13 total points.

Ismael Celestin and Dylan Causwell both collected 14 first-half points, while Celestin grabbed six boards in the twenty minutes.

CCGA answered SEU’s stretch to open up the second half of action. The Mariners were able to tie the competition at 61 with 14:12 remaining thanks to 12 of Jaylen Smallwood’s game-high 31 points. Eventually, Coastal Georgia would go on to lead by nine (76-67) with just 7:41 left.

Overall, shooting and rebounding in the second half determined the contest. The Fire shot a mere 34.6% (9-26 FG), while the Mariners managed 43.3% (13-30 FG). CCGA gave themselves second-chance opportunities thanks to nine offensive rebounds in the final twenty minutes, out-rebounding Southeastern 25-11 in the second frame.

Although SEU cut the deficit down to as little as two points down the stretch, Josiah Barsh’s 11 points in the second half weren’t enough. Vidmantas Kaciuska sealed the four-point result with late free throws as he scored 24 points off the bench for Coastal Georgia.

Causwell and Celestin each recorded 20-point outings, finishing with 23 and 20, respectively. Moody ended the night with a game-high eight boards.

With the tight loss, Southeastern falls to 18-7 (11-4 TSC) on the season, but does not drop any further behind Warner, who leads The Sun Conference standings by one game.

The Fire will be back in the Furnace on Saturday as they do battle with Thomas University. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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