BABSON PARK, Fla. – The Fire made the short road trip east to battle the Webber International Warriors in a fierce Sun Conference matchup. Southeastern replicated the result from earlier in the season defeating Webber 93-82.
Heading into tonight’s bout, the Fire were in the midst of trying to snap a five-game slide. With the help of a career high 32-point performance by Josiah Barsh, the Fire placed a tally in the win column. For the game, Barsh shot a perfect 7-7 from beyond arc and 77% from the floor.
Southeastern displayed a heightened intensity in the opening minutes which led to an early 7-0 run. However, during the ensuing time, the Warriors battled their way to take an 12-11 lead at the 15:31 mark.
Just as the Fire regained a substantial lead, the Warriors would string together defensive stops that allowed them to slowly chip away at Southeastern lead. Aided by Osandai Vaughn’s 13 first half points, the Warriors overcame the nine-point Fire lead to head into the locker room with a 44-42 lead.
On the season teams average 40.1 points in the second half, however, tonight defense shined in the final 20 minutes of play. The Fire held the Warriors to 36 points and a 22.2% conversion rate from beyond the arc. Coupled with dynamic offensive, the Fire took control of the game.
CJ Reese contributed 10 of his 14 points in the second half. Reese, the native of College Park, Georgia, captained the distribution department logging, a team high, five assists.
In his second start of the season, Ismael Celestin dictated the pace-of-play with his speed and ability to finish at the basket. The transfer from St. Petersburg College, collected 15 points and team high seven rebounds.
The Fire also saw a steady contribution from Ryan Atkins who added 16 points of his own. Taking advantage of his chances at the charity stripe, Atkins shot 80% from the foul line.
Southeastern will play Keiser on Thursday, January 25 in another road Sun Conference matchup. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.