MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.—It was pretty clear what the emphasis in practice was for the Southeastern men’s basketball team.
Plagued by outside shooting and missed free throws in a loss Saturday, the Fire bounced back with an 86% effort at the free throw line, and a 57% showing from 3-point range in a thrilling 106-98 overtime win at Florida Memorial.
The win guaranteed the Fire to be, at least the No. 4 seed in next week’s Sun Conference Tournament. That means SEU will host a conference postseason game for the first time since 2015.
A total of 11 lead changes highlighted a thrilling second half, that included a layup by CJ Reese with two seconds left to give Southeastern (18-8, 10-7 TSC) the lead, which was followed by a layup by Omar Outar at the horn to force the extra five minutes.
It was in the bonus period the Fire excelled, going 3-of-5 from the field, and knocking down 11-of-13 at the free throw line. Florida Memorial (15-11, 8-9 TSC) was just 3-of-15 from the field in OT, and missed all four of its 3-point attempts.
Reese was one of three SEU players to register 20 or more points, scoring 22 with a 13-of-15 showing at the free throw line, and pulled down three rebounds, and dished out two assists in 37 minutes. Ryan Atkins had 20 points, and was a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
A huge shooting night from Josiah Barsh was the key early on. Barsh finished with 28 points, knocking down 5-of-6 from long range and 9-of-10 at the foul line. Down 11 with 14:20 left in the first half, Barsh scored 16 points in the final 13 minutes of the half to pull the Fire out of their slump.
Also assisting in that area was sophomore Jeremy Oppenheimer, who connected on three big 3-pointers in the half, with the final one coming with 6:46 left in the first to give SEU its first lead (29-28).
Despite making nine more field goals than the Fire, FMU was just 6-of-26 from beyond the arc (23.1%).
The Fire will close out the regular season on Saturday at home against St. Thomas. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.