No Rest: Sun Belt Back in Action Monday Night
The grueling pace in the Sun Belt continues tonight with five league games on the slate. While the battle for first place in the Sun Belt Conference is taking place at the CAJUNDOME tonight (read Steve Peloquin's break down here.), there are four other league games taking place. And, while none may have the marquee value of Louisiana/ULM, there are some very interesting matchups taking place.
UALR (6-10, 1-5 Sun Belt, 0-5 road) at SOUTH ALABAMA (5-12, 3-4, 3-4 home)—Close losses (two in overtime, one by three points) have relegated the Trojans to last place in the Sun Belt, a pretty uncharacteristic place for a Steve Shields coached team. Tonight they face a rejuvenated South Alabama team that has won three of its last five, including the big road win against the Cajuns on Saturday. This is the second meeting between the schools. Earlier in Little Rock, Dionte Ferguson scored 25 points, while Georgi Boyanov had a double double to lead South Alabama to a 72-69 win at the Jack Stephens Center. UALR barely shot 40% from the field in that game. They’ll have to be much better tonight.
GEORGIA STATE (11-7, 4-3, 2-6 road) AT ARKANSAS STATE (8-8, 3-4, 3-4 home)—After losing four straight (and not looking very good doing it), the Red Wolves have now won two in a row after winning at Appalachian State and taking care of Texas State at home in overtime. They’ll take on a Georgia State club that has struggled away from home this season and blew a double digit lead at Appalachian State Saturday afternoon. Anthony Livingston had his fourth double double of the year in the game on Saturday against the Bobcats. Georgia State’s sometimes inability to match up inside has cost them, especially down the stretch against App State when Tommy Spagnolo just took over the game and the Panthers had no answer. Georgia State will have the rest of the week off after tonight to prepare for their rematch against Louisiana.
APPALACHIAN STATE (5-10, 2-4, 3-7 road) at TROY (7-8, 2-4, 5-2 home)—Two teams that pulled off big upsets on Saturday don’t have time to dwell as they meet in Trojan arena. The Mountaineers’ win was impressive as they came back from a double digit deficit midway through the second half. Both of their wins in league play came in that fashion as they also erased a 14 point deficit against Arkansas State. Troy held Georgia Southern to 38% shooting in the second half, including 3-17 from three point range which enabled to get the win. Wesley Person, a candidate for freshman of the year, was held to just seven points. But Musa Abdul-Aleef had 23 points and Kenton Ford had a career high 26 to pick up the slack.
TEXAS STATE (10-6, 4-3,3-5 road) at UT ARLINGTON (9-7, 3-3, 6-2 Home)---UTA had a break from this stretch of a lot of games in just a few days by getting its bye this past Saturday. The break may have come at a good time after losing three of their last four games, all on the road. In fact, UTA hasn’t lost a home conference game, nor have they won one on the road. The teams have been together in three different conferences: the Southland, WAC and now, Sun Belt. UTA would rather have a faster pace, while Danny Kaspar is much more comfortable coaching in the half court. One thing the teams have in common is balanced scoring. Each only has one player averaging in double figures.
Here is the women’s schedule for tonight:
UALR (13-2, 6-0) at SOUTH ALABAMA (3-13, 0-7)
GEORGIA STATE (8-8, 3-4) at ARKANSAS STATE (11-6, 6-1)
APPALACHIAN STATE (8-7) AT TROY (10-5, 5-1)
TEXAS STATE (8-7, 3-3) AT UT ARLINGTON (9-6, 3-3)
UL MONROE (5-10, 1-5) at LOUISIANA (11-4, 3-3)