Sun Belt elites light up ULM in Fant-Ewing

Jonah Bostick

Following a 62-55 statement win over Sun Belt powerhouse UT Arlington, the Warhawks were going into the week with high hopes on continuing their momentum. 

However, the Warhawks failed to build off of the momentum, and ended up dropping both contests of the week.

In the first game against Troy, The Warhawks got off to a rocky start. Due to Troy producing 67% shooting compared to ULM’s 34%, the Trojans dominated the first half, and even held a 41-18 lead with seven minutes to play. While the Warhawks were able to make it a 14 point game at the half, the Trojans lead still loomed large. 

“Obviously, the first half was a disaster for us”, said head coach Keith Richard, “It was too big a hole to climb back”. 

The Warhawks performed better in the second half, and even outscored the Trojans 36-30. However, the surge was not enough, and the Warhawks lost 73-65.

“You can’t give up 60 percent from the field and 47 percent from the 3-point line on your home court and expect to win,” Richard said. 

Leaders for the Warhawks included Russell Harrison, who went 5/9 in total shooting including 3/6 in 3-point shooting, scoring 15 points, and Andre Jones, who went 6/13 for 13 points. 

The second game featured a matchup vs South Alabama, who ranked among the top teams in the SBC. 

After falling behind eight points to start, the Warhawks surged back, outscoring the Jaguars 22-3 to build a 25-14 lead with around seven minutes to play in the first half. However, USA followed with a surge of their own, finishing the half with a 19-10 run. 

South Alabama continued the momentum in the second half, with a 15-2 start. The Warhawks never recovered and lost 68-56. 

Several factors went into the Warhawks loss on Saturday. ULM was outscored 27-7 on points off of turnovers. Fastbreak points proved to be a worse category, with the Warhawks being outscored 17-0 throughout the game. 

“I’m looking down at the stat sheet and there’s 27 points off turnovers. The majority of those were against the zone. They’re a really fast team and they explode in transition,” Richard said.  “Those turnovers are undefended points, and that was the story of the game.”

Leaders for the game included Andre Jones, who produced 13 points, going 6-10 shooting, and Thomas Howell, who scored 8 points while going 2-5 shooting with four free throws made.

With the two losses, the Warhawks drop to 10-10 overall on the season, with a 2-6 conference record. The Warhawks will look to rebound next week with games vs Georgia Southern and Georgia State.