Dry spells send ULM to bottom of SBC

Jonah Bostick

The ULM basketball team was heading into last week on a four-game losing streak. They looked to turn around Sun Belt Conference play against the two lowest ranked teams.

The result of the week: two more home losses and last place in the SBC.

In the first contest versus Georgia Southern, the Warhawks started a highly contested first half with a 17-13 lead. 

However, this was short-lived and the first half ended with a 12-5 run in favor of the Eagles. An already rough night was made worse for ULM after point guard Elijah Gonzalez exited the game with around seven minutes in the half and did not return. 

Calli Sinclair

The second half saw the continuation of a defensive showcase. The Warhawks found themselves up 43-40 with less than five minutes to go. However, the Warhawks’ offense shut down at the worst time and the Eagles scored 10 straight points to win the game 50-45.

“That’s where you miss Elijah,” head coach Keith Richard said. “He frees somebody up for a possible layup or easy shot.”

It was the second lowest scoring game of the season for the Warhawks, first being 39 points vs LSU. The Warhawks would finish shooting 29.5% from the field against the Eagles.

“We couldn’t get to the rim,” Richard said. “And then we go 3-for-26 from the 3-point line. I know there were a few of them down the stretch we were wide open. We really moved the ball well to get those shots.”

Leaders for the Warhawks included Harrison, who scored 17 points with 13 rebounds and two steals, and Andre Jones, who scored 11 points with five rebounds and two steals. 

In the second contest, the Warhawks faced Georgia State. The first half was a shooting match with both teams trading blows. After ULM briefly held the lead, they would falter in the final minutes, which included an 11-0 run for the Panthers.

Calli Sinclair

The game was won and lost by the rebounding effort. The Panthers were able to wear down ULM’s forwards to keep the game going their way.

“We had to play as big as we could at the three, four and five to try to rebound the best we could,” Richard said. “They had 15 offensive rebounds and it was hard to get a defensive rebound.”

In the second half, ULM opened with a 46-43 lead with 16 minutes to go, and it seemed like the second half would be much like the first. However, the Panthers responded with a 17-6 run throughout the next six minutes to go up 60-52. 

The Warhawks would never regain the lead and would end up losing their fourth straight game 73- 62.

“I think the first thing we need to do is take tomorrow off and regroup,” Richard said. “There’s a lot of emotions right now with our team because we haven’t won and it’s been tough with the homestand.”

Thomas Howell led the team in scoring with 15 points and was followed by Harrison, who scored 12 points, and Jones who scored 11.

The Warhawks are now 10-12 overall, including a 2-8 conference record, and have lost five straight games at home.