William Mosley's college career ended Wednesday afternoon at the Merrell Center in the quarterfinals of the Southland tournament. It's been a decorated career for the 6-7 center, as only four men in the history of college basketball have blocked more shots than the Shreveport native. Yet, it ended in a loss, as it always does. Tragically, the 76-69 defeat to Lamar wasn't anything close to the biggest loss Mosley has suffered in the past week.
Mosley's twin sons, Jayden and Kayden, passed away 17 days from their first birthday last Saturday night. The twins suffered from respiratory issues and had been in the hospital since birth. Jayden and Kayden were not believed to be in any immediate life-threatening danger before their death.
I have never lost a family member or friend I was close to in my life, nor do I have children, so I can't even begin to empathize with the hurt that Mosley, his family and his girlfriend must be going through right now. The fact that Mosley was playing against Lamar shows he is probably a much more resilient man than I would be in that situation.
In honor of Jayden and Kayden, the Demons wore a white band across the front of the right underarm on their uniform. Immediately before tipoff, each of the NSU starters embraced Mosley. We know from the past on this site that the Demons' program is full of wonderful people, and I'm sure that they're helping Mosley in whatever way they can.
While the emotion was almost assuredly still raw for Mosley and the rest of the Demons, there was a game to be played.
Lamar jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first five minutes, and looked very athletic. One of the two Demons buckets in that time came from Mosley, and his first points saw the Northwestern State fans rise in support of the big man. The Cardinals led for the remainder of the first half and took a 35-26 lead into the locker room. Mosley kept the Demons from trailing by more at the break, accounting for six of Northwestern State's last eight points in the first 20 minutes. For Lamar, seniors Mike James and Charlie Harper were especially impressive. Of course, Lamar's seniors were called out a couple weeks ago by coach Pat Knight as "the worst group of seniors that I've ever been associated with," and it became a big ESPN story because Pat happens to be Bob's son.
The Demons fell behind by 13 early in the second half before coach Mike McConathy was given a technical with 17:55 remaining. The technical call motivated NSU, which went on a 22-7 run covering nearly 10 minutes in the second half. All-SLC third team guard Shamir Davis began to get going on some drives to the basket, but the run was most about Mosley. When the center hit a mid-range jumper with 8:43 left to put the Demons up by four at 50-46, it looked for all the world like Mosley would be the inspirational hero days after the unthinkable. The basket gave Mosley a career-high 22 points.
The next sequence of events would be unfortunate for any influential senior, but for Mosley it was especially cruel. He picked up his second and third fouls on the same possession with eight minutes left. His fourth came with 4:07 to go and he sat for a couple minutes. With Mosley on the bench, Lamar began to make its run, with Harper and James hitting shots after being well held for most of the second half. James' last two points of his 21 came on a baseline jumper with 1:33 left, putting the Cardinals up 67-65 and for good. After Lamar closed down the game with free throws and crucial stops, the final margin was seven.
We all are bound to feel sad when it ends in a loss for our teams this season. However, those losses are not losses in the purest sense of the word, because our teams will return. They may have a different coach, different players, different uniforms or even a different arena, but they will be back. Unfortunately, other types of losses in life are permanent, and remembering that may help us when the action on the court this March gets us down. In the coming days, please keep the Mosley family in your thoughts and prayers.
LAMAR 76, NORTHWESTERN STATE 69 03/07/2012
NORTHWESTERN STATE 16-16 (8-8) -- W. Mosley 10-15 2-2 22; J. Hulbin 3-10 1-2 8; S. Davis 4-11 3-4 12; P. Robinson 1-4 0-0 2; L. Ellis 6-8 2-3 15; T. Washington 1-2 0-0 2; G. Stewart 1-3 0-0 2; J. Brisco 0-2 0-0 0; G. Roberson 1-6 2-2 4; O. Evans 1-1 0-0 2; M. Frazier 0-0 0-0 0; T. Lindsey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-62 10-13 69. LAMAR 21-11 (11-5) -- A. Miles 4-12 8-8 16; D. Lamb 5-9 2-3 12; M. James 9-17 0-0 21; B. Davis 3-9 1-2 7; C. Harper 5-7 4-5 14; S. Brown 2-4 2-3 6; N. Acosta 0-2 0-0 0; D. Minor 0-3 0-0 0; O. Ebomwonyi 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 28-66 17-23 76.
Three-point goals: NWSU 3-16 (J. Hulbin 1-4; W. Mosley 0-1; S. Davis 1-2; L. Ellis 1-2; P. Robinson 0-1; G. Stewart 0-1; T. Washington 0-1; J. Brisco 0-2; G. Roberson 0-2), LAM 3-10 (A. Miles 0-2; E. Davis 0-2; M. James 3-5; D. Lamb 0-1); Rebounds: NWSU 28 (W. Mosley 9), LAM 41 (S. Brown 10); Assists: NWSU 12 (T. Washington 3), LAM 13 (M. James 4); Total Fouls -- NWSU 18, LAM 14; Fouled Out: NWSU-None; LAM-None.