Men’s Basketball: Huskies drop two away from Matthews

Men’s Basketball: Huskies drop two away from Matthews

Road woes continue to haunt the men’s basketball team with two more losses away from the security of Matthews Arena.

The Huskies lost consecutive games at Towson and Hofstra, dropping to 7-17 (5-8 Colonial Athletic Association).

“To tell you the truth I don’t know why we struggle so much on the road,” said senior co-captain Bobby Kelly. “Maybe it is the atmosphere or their fans, but mostly we don’t come in focused for a full game. We play well in one half or the other but never for a full game.”

Towson (12-12, 6-7 CAA) hosted Northeastern Wednesday and handed the Huskies a 74-61 loss. Freshman guard Matt Janning earned his second consecutive CAA Rookie of the Week award after putting up a game-high 18 points and six assists.

The Tigers opened the game with a 9-0 run and closed the first half with a 40-27 lead. The Huskies were able to close the gap to eight points early in the second half before Towson went on an 11-3 run. Northeastern continued to battle and got back within seven points of the Tigers, who finally put the game out of reach with an eight point run to extend their lead to 15.

“In the first half we didn’t come out with the focus or intensity we should have,” Kelly said. “In the second half we had more fire, which led to streaks on our end. We did a good job shutting down their leading scorer and their other players stepped up to get their streaks going.”

Kelly put up nine points in the game and played solid defensively, limiting Gary Neal, the CAA leading scorer, to 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

“Coach [Bill Coen] just said to deny him the ball,” Kelly said. “And if he does get the ball, force him to his left hand because we noticed on film he likes the right. We just tried to limit his shots and make him take bad shots.”

Saturday Hofstra hosted the Huskies, looking for revenge. On Jan. 13 Northeastern upset the Pride at Matthews Arena 84-74, but Hofstra found its stride at the Mack Complex in Hempstead, N.Y. topping NU 82-66.

The Huskies had five players in double figures, led by Janning, who scored 16. Kelly netted 14, senior co-captain Adrian Martinez scored 13, senior co-captain Bennet Davis got 11 and sophomore forward Eugene Spates had 10.

Down 11 at the half, the Huskies pulled within six points after a three-pointer from Martinez with just under eight minutes remaining.

The Pride pulled away to win the game and improve to 18-6 (11-2 CAA). They continue to secure their grasp on second place in the conference behind Virginia Commonwealth.

“It was a tough game,” Kelly said. “We could have played a better first half but overall we played well. It was just a really tough game. We knew [Loren] Stokes and [Antoine] Agudio would get their points, we just tried to shut other players down, which we didn’t do. We didn’t contain the guys who don’t normally score like we did when they were [at Matthews].”

Tonight the Huskies rematch Towson at Matthews Arena at 7 p.m. Since the teams faced each other two games ago the Tigers dropped a 66-56 decision at Drexel. Saturday Northeastern is back on the road to face James Madison (7-16, 4-9 CAA) at 7 p.m.

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