Phil Brahm | Staff Reporter
December 11, 2014; 9:00 a.m.
Losing a third consecutive game, the Lions fell to University of Missouri – St. Louis, 83-77 at home, Wednesday night.
Starting off with a back and forth battle, both teams lit up the scoreboard, as the crowd saw six lead changes. While the Lions had an opportunity to pull away on several occasions, they were kept in check by the consistent shooting of the Tritons, as the visitors combined for seven three pointers.
With the shots raining down, the Tritons held a 38-32 lead at the half.
Throughout the second half, the Lions inched closer and closer as they looked to deliver the Tritons their first loss of the season. Darris Smith and Garrett Reeg led the effort, combining for 21 points in the final 20 minutes of play. While both teams were evenly matched, putting up 45 points, UMSL’s long ball yet once again smoked out the Lions down the stretch, as they sank another five threes.
At the end of regulation the Lions fell with a final score of 83-77.
Former Lion Brandon Marquardt, who was released from the team last year for undisclosed reasoning, return to Hyland for the first time, suited up for the Tritons. Posting 16 points, he blazed up the offensive end going 6-8 from the floor. Marquardt’s two clutch three pointers put a dagger in the Lions comeback effort, making his return somewhat bitter for the home crowd.
With the Lions struggling to perform on the defensive end of the court, head coach Brad Soderberg has been left scratching his head, trying all he can to get his team to play the basketball he knows they are capable of.
“The issue is very simple; we can’t defend. We haven’t been able to stop anyone for three straight games,” Soderberg said, “It’s baffling me, frustrating me and I’m sure the guys are frustrated as well. Until we can start defending we can’t hope to consistently win.”
Falling back below .500, with an overall record of 4-5, the Lions will travel to Maryville University on Dec. 13, to face the Saints. This game marks the last meeting before LU returns to conference play for a six-game stand.