Four games left to climb into sixth place

The Bearkats took to the road last weekend to play two key games against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions and the Nicholls State Colonels, and they came home with one win and one loss. On Thursday the Kats picked up a loss to Southeastern 70-69 for their fifth loss by four points or less in conference play.The Lions jumped out to a 10-point halftime lead, and a second half Bearkat comeback came up short.”They shot well early, and our defense wasn’t good in the first half,” said Bearkat coach Bob Marlin. “They scored a lot early and we struggled. I thought our defense was good enough in the second half to win the game, but we were just too far behind to get back.”The Lions were led by Amir Abdur-Rahim’s 23 points and Donald Ceaser’s 15 points.SHSU was lead by senior Brian Jordy, who came off the bench for 14 points, while Donald Cole scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jay Oliphant added 11 points for the Kats, and Felton Freeman scored 10.On Saturday the Kats held Nicholls winless in conference play with a 80-65 victory.”We played better,” Marlin said. “We had a heated discussion at halftime and I challenged the guys, we came out and grabbed a double digit lead and were able to keep it.”With the Bearkats trailing by two in the second half, Jason Stephenson scored all five of his points in a two minute period that sparked an 18-3 run to bury the Colonels.Leading the Bearkats in the victory was Donald Cole, who scored a game high 20 points and Robert Shannon, who added 12 points. Demitrice Sims and Rodrick Winters added nine points apiece for the Kats.Although the Kats did not win both games on the road trip, Marlin said the guys who came off the bench played a key role for the team during the weekend games.”Having guys come off the bench and create for us is always important,” Marlin said. “Jason started on Thursday, but Saturday he came off the bench and did a good job. Brian has got a lot of confidence and he’s playing really good right now. He’s playing with a lot of emotion and it’s really helped the team.”With only four games remaining on the conference schedule, the seveth place Kats are 7-9 and still have hopes of making the conference tournament.”We’ve got four games left,” Marlin said. “We shouldn’t be in this situation, we’re 11 points away from being 12-3 in the conference. When we are at our best we are one of the best teams in the league, but we need to continue to play well.”

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