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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Improved offense leads to first SBC home win


Following a brief stint in Virginia, the ULM men’s basketball team returned home and secured an 80-66 win over South Alabama. After winning his second conference game in a row, head coach Keith Richard spoke about the team’s growth this season.

“I think in the last two games we’ve played better offense,” Richard said. The Warhawks have been averaging 2.7 3-pointers per game in conference play. 

“That’s historically low. You can’t get much lower than that,” Richard said. “Saturday, we made six. Tonight, we made five. That’s progress.”

Senior guard Tyreke Locure aided in much of the revamped offense, nailing three 3-pointers on four shots. 

Locure, having started his collegiate career at South Alabama, touched on how it feels playing against former teammates and coaches.

“It’s tough due to the fact that we’re familiar with each other,” Locure said. “And the fact that we were once brothers. I say we’re still brothers but wear different jerseys. You have to turn the brotherly love off.”

The Warhawks (6-12; 2-6 Sun Belt Conference) drew first blood thanks to a layup by sophomore forward Jerry Ngopot. The Jaguars (10-10; 3-5 SBC) responded with 10 straight points as ULM couldn’t make anything near the net.

“The offense has been a struggle,” Richard said. “There’s a reason there’s a hoop there. It’s gotta go in some. And this team, before these two games, hasn’t had success with the ball going in enough.”

After trailing by nine with as many minutes left to play in the first half, the Warhawks stepped on the gas and never let off. An 18-5 run by ULM settled the team into a lead that lasted through the rest of the half. The Warhawks hung up another seven before heading into the locker room up by 22.

Junior guard Johnnie Williams said that the team’s biggest improvement this season wasn’t technical but mental.

“A lot of us had to lock in,” Williams said. “A lot of us didn’t have the best mentality at the beginning of the year, but it was never too late for us to change it. And now we’re on a better page.”

The Warhawks didn’t let off the gas after halftime and reached a 17-point lead in the first two minutes. A 35.14 percentage in field goals for the Jaguars kept ULM in a double-digit lead for the rest of the match.

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