Not One, But Two Buzzer Beaters in the Sun Belt
It was a pretty exciting weekend in the Sun Belt Conference, as the games were highlighted by a pair of buzzer beaters. One helped a team stay in first place, while the other capped a furious last minute comeback.
Here are the scores from around the league.
ARKANSAS STATE 67, LITTLE ROCK 58 (Friday)--The Red Wolves (19-8, 10-4 Sun Belt) remained unbeaten at home, using a 16-0 second half run to humble the Trojans (13-14, 4-10). Devin Carter led three in double figures with 18 points as the Rec Wolves improved to 11-0 at the Convocation Center. Jalen Jackson scored 16 for Little Rock. The crowd of 6,367 was the largest since Arkansas State changed their mascot to the Red Wolves.
LOUISIANA 85, ULM 84--Johnathan Stove's 45 footer from just inside half court at the buzzer gave the Cajuns the improbable win. Louisiana (16-11, 6-8 Sun Belt), trailed by 12 in the second half and by seven with just over a minute remaining. ULM still led 84-79 with ten seconds to go. But freshman Kadavion Evans got a three point play on a putback and Stove hit the game winner after two missed free throws. Jay Wright kept the Cajuns in the game, scoring 28 points, the eighth time he's surpassed the twenty point mark. Prince Cooper led five Warhawks (7-20, 1-13) in double digits with 17.
UTA 68, GEORGIA STATE 67--Senior guard Erick Neal drilled a 30 footer with one second left to give the Mavericks (20-6, 10-3 Sun Belt) the win that kept them in first place in the league. UTA never led in the second half until Neal's jumper. D'Marcus Simonds had hit a shot with :22 left that gave Georgia State (16-10, 9-5) a two point lead. UTA trailed 53-38 with 11 minutes to play, but a 15-0 run got them back in the game. Kevin Hervey had 17 points and ten rebounds to lead the Mavs, while Jeremy Hollowell had 19 to pace the Panthers, who lost their third straight.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 70, TEXAS STATE 67--Tookie Brown hit a pair of free throws with :05 left to seal the Eagles' win. Georgia Southern led by 12 at halftime, but the Bobcats hit seven of their ten triples after halftime to get back in it. Texas State (15-10, 8-5 Sun Belt) got within one point on Bobby Conley's trey with :06 remaining but never could get the lead. Brown led Georgia Southern (17-10, 10-4) with 21 points. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury had 22 for the Bobcats to lead all scorers.
TROY 87, COASTAL CAROLINA 78--For the first time in six years, Troy has won three straight conference games. Jordan Varnado led the Trojans (13-12, 7-6 Sun Belt) with 17 points as Troy jumped out to an eleven point halftime lead (48-37), then held the Chanticleers (13-14, 8-6) without a field goal during a six minute stretch that saw the lead balloon to 21 points. Troy hit 12-27 triples in the game, while Coastal was 13-37 from beyond the arc. Troy outscored CCU by 14 points at the free throw line.
SOUTH ALABAMA 87, APPALACHIAN STATE 74--The Jaguars scored 57 points in the second half to rebound from a six point halftime deficit. South Alabama (13-13, 6-7) opened the second half on a 15-3 run and took the lead for good. Ken Williams scored 18 of his 20 points after intermission to lead the Jaguars. App State (6-17, 3-11) had five players in double figures.