WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – In a hostile road environment, 40 minutes was not enough to determine a winner between Southeastern and #19 Keiser. Slowly gaining momentum as the game progressed in the second half, the Seahawks carried that same energy into overtime to defeat the Fire 91-83. The Seahawks issue the Fire their eighth loss of the season.
Early on, the Fire’s defensive play proved to be a noticeable factor in the first half. Southeastern combatted the dangerous perimeter shooting and post play generating nine Keiser turnovers. The Fire were able to take advantage of their opportunities and began to expand the lead.
Southeastern proceeded to go on a 10-0 run midway through the first half to take a convincing 28-18 lead. As the minutes progressed, the Seahawks would narrow the deficit multiple times, but at the end of the first half, the Fire possessed a 41-32 lead. The Fire held the lead for a total of 12 minutes during the first half.
Ryan Atkins led all scorers in the first half with an explosive 16 points off of the bench. Atkins, along with CJ Reese, were able to exploit holes in the Seahawk defense and compliment one-another with strong performances.
During the second half, the Seahawks made a few instrumental adjustments that shifted the complexion of the game. Southeastern proceeded to shoot 33.3% from the floor in the second half.
Even with the Seahawks’ solid defense, the Fire held a three point lead with 17 seconds left in regulation. Micah Goss was fouled from beyond the arc sending him to the line with a chance to knot the contest up at 74.
With clutch free throw shooting, Goss tied the game at 74. The Fire had the last chance with seven second left on the clock, but were unable to get the open look they were looking for, sending the game to overtime.
The Seahawks’ Goss and Deion McClenton took control in multiple areas which allowed the comeback to commence. McClenton and Goss finished the contest with 25 and 22 points, respectively. McClenton contributed in the scoring efforts, but the Sun Conference leader in rebounds made his presence known in the paint. McClenton finished with 22 rebounds and three timely block in the final minutes of regulation.
Foul trouble plagued both teams, but a 17-point overtime period solidified a Keiser victory.
Reese and Atkins combined for 55 of the Fire’s 83 points. Wesley Johnson added 12 rebounds of his own. The Fire took advantage of their trips to the line shooting 76% from the charity stripe.
The Fire will be back in action when they host Johnson & Wales on Saturday. Tip off set for 7 p.m.