The Bearkat basketball team will travel to Hammond, La. Thursday to take on the Southeastern Louisiana Lions for the second time this season.
The two teams last met Jan. 2 in Huntsville and the Bearkats came away with a convincing 74-65 win.
In January’s game, two Bearkats, Donald Cole and Robert Shannon, each came away with 21 points. Cole also was able to grab 12 defensive rebounds, while Felton Freeman grabbed 10.
“We played really aggressive defensively,” assistant coach Dwayne Kelley said. “It was early in the year, so it was good to get off to a good start and I think we’re playing better now.”
Kelley said the Bearkats have put themselves in a good position, but they still need to win their key games.
“Every game now is big,” Kelley said. “We’ve put ourselves in a good position to make a run at the conference championship. This team is playing well, they’ve won their last three in a row, but any game on the road is tough, so we have to be prepared.”
One thing standing in the way of the Bearkats is 6 foot-3 inch guard Amir Abdur-Rahim. Abdur-Rahim was named this weeks “Southland Conference Player of the Week” after hitting 31 points in the Lions’ victory over Southwest Texas.
“Rahim is coming off a career high game with 31 points,” Kelley said. “He’s playing well and he’s going to be a tough guard.”
The Bearkats will be prepared for whatever Southeastern Louisiana throws at them and Kelley is confident that the Bearkats will be able to come out on top Thursday night.
“If we take care of the ball offensively and don’t have any careless turnovers, I think we will be successful,” Kelley said.
The Bearkats are just coming off a 66-59 win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.
Cole lit up the boards for the Bearkats with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
However, for the Bearkats to win Thursday, it will take a lot more than Cole to step up and take control of the team.
“Offensively, I think our inside guys should have a good night,” Kelley said. “They aren’t that big of a team size-wise, so I think we can score inside. Secondly, I think our guards have to respond defensively and do a good job of guarding Rahim.”