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LAKELAND, Fla.— In a game that saw the lead change hands 12 times in the second half and extra periods alone, the Fire men’s basketball team fell to Coastal Georgia 118-111 (2OT) on Saturday.
The Fire came out of the gate quickly, earning the first seven points of the competition in the opening minute and a half. By penetrating Coastal Georgia’s defense and scoring in the paint, Southeastern opened up a ten-point advantage over the Mariners midway through the first half.
More of the same continued throughout the first twenty minutes as the Fire dominated down low. Going into the break, SEU shot an astounding 19-24 on field goals inside the arc, while making 62.5% of their shot attempts compared to CCGA’s 42.9%.
Behind 14 first-half points by Ryan Atkins, who leads all players in the Sun Conference in scoring, Southeastern held a four-point advantage over Coastal Georgia 47-43.
For the remainder of the contest, the Mariners clawed their way back into the game with a strong defensive pressure and continued offensive effort. A barrage of three-point field goals allowed Coastal Georgia, who trailed by as many as five in the second half, to even the score at 87 heading into overtime.
The Fire were held to just 38.7% shooting from the field in the extra periods of play, while CCGA shot 53.3% over the same span.
Southeastern, led by 32 points by CJ Reese, did all they could to keep the Mariners from coming out on top in the offensive shootout. Reese captained the offense down the stretch with 24 of his points coming in the second half or the overtime periods, while six Southeastern players reached the double-digit scoring mark.
However, Coastal Georgia’s offense proved too much for the Fire late in the game. The Mariners connected on four of their six attempts from downtown in the overtimes, and shot nearly 50% from beyond the arc in the contest (14-29).
Behind double-doubles by Haylen Washington and Brandon Martin, who each had over 20 points and three made three-pointers, CCGA was able to eventually stifle the Fire 118-111 in the second overtime period.
Atkins finished the night with 26 points for the Fire, while Isaac Barsh had a productive game with a double-double (ten points and ten rebounds).
Southeastern will be back in action when they face St. Thomas in Miami Gardens on Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.