Seniors surrender final game to Bobcats, 70-65
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Senior week for the ULM Men’s Basketball team didn’t go quite as planned for the Warhawks as they dropped the last two home games to UT Arlington 72-57 and Texas State University 70-65.
Through the first half of the game vs UT Arlington, the Warhawks gave the Mavericks everything they had. There were 12 lead changes in the first half. Thirteen points was the result for ULM from UTA turnovers.
Meanwhile, the Warhawks had great ball security, only allowing three turnovers. Going into halftime, ULM would find themselves down by only one point with a 31-30 score.
The second half of the game was not kind to the Warhawks. The offense could not find any baskets while the Mavericks were not missing. UTA started the second half with a 13-5 run on the Warhawks to increase their lead to 44-35. But the Warhawks are fighters, and they attempted to surge back. ULM pulled the game back to within five points, but the Maverick offense proved to be too powerful for the Warhawks as they steadily pulled away in the last five minutes of the game.
Game number two was Saturday at Fant-Ewing and was an emotional senior day for three of your Warhawks. Guards Nick Coppola, Marcus Washington and Prince Cooper played in their last game here at home. Although wanting to go out with a win, their stories are not yet over as they look to upset another team at the Sun Belt Tournament.
“We haven’t been able to close well…” said head coach Richard, “it’s been in the last five or six minutes, and it’s been at the buzzer.”
Saturday, the Warhawks faced off against Texas State in an exciting final game. In the first half of the game, both teams were neck and neck. The biggest difference is the rebounds and shots made. ULM out rebounded Texas State by seven in the first half giving their offense more opportunities to score, but it was Texas State who converted more possessions into points.
As the game drew close to halftime, ULM was starting to play well on both sides of the ball while they went on a 12-3 run. They ended the half with a score of 34-30 in favor of Texas State.
The second half was a hard fought battle between the two teams. The lead changed four times and the teams were tied twice. After falling behind , the Warhawks rallied to catch up and eventually take the lead.
The Warhawks would hold the lead for about seven minutes behind the hot shooting of Forward Travis Munnings and Center Sam Alabakis who finished the game shooting 75 percent from the field and 100 percent from the free throw line and finishing with 11 points.
After about five minutes left in the game, it was a contest of who could control the ball and make their free throws and Texas State was up to the challenge.
Even though this year hasn’t been what coach Richard and his players have wanted it to be, they still get another chance in the Sun Belt Tournament. The Warhawks won’t let this loss get to them while they focus and prepare for New Orleans.
“I’m the most optimistic guy you can find,” said Cooper, “I’m thinking we can go in there and win it all.”
The Warhawks will now travel Wednesday to New Orleans to compete in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament where they still await who they will face off against first.