Saturday Scores From the Sun Belt
A lot went according to plan Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference. Three of the five home teams were victorious and there was only one big surprise in the league. Besides the Cajuns' win at Texas State, here's what else went on Saturday.
GEORGIA STATE 74, ARKANSAS STATE 43--Georgia State has won four straight and six of its last seven as they pummeled the Red Wolves at the GSU Sports Arena. The Panthers (15-7, 8-3) jumped out to a 10-0 lead and were never headed in the contest. Arkansas State (9-12, 4-8) shot just 20% from the field. Ryan Harrow went over the 1,000 point mark for his two year career, scoring 21. Markus Crider had a double double for the Panthers while R. J Hunter chipped in eleven points. Anthony Livingston had ten points as the only player in double figures for Arkansas State.
UL MONROE 67, SOUTH ALABAMA 61---The Warhawks used their smothering defense to hold a potent Jaguars team to just eighteen first half points, then had to withstand a furious South Alabama rally before beating the Jaguars at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. ULM (14-8, 8-3) held USA to just 33% shooting in the first half and led 20-7 before taking a 32-18 lead into the halftime locker room. ULM increased the lead to 18 but the Jags (7-15, 5-6) responded with a 10-0 run to get the lead into single digits. The Jaguars got the deficit to three points on a John Brown triple with under nine minutes to play, but ULM would not allow the Jags to get any closer. Majok Deng had a career high 17 points while Tylor Ongwae had a double double including a career high 13 rebounds. Ken Williams scored 23 points while Dionte Ferguson added 18.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 76, UALR 61--Jelani Hewitt had 17 points and six assists as Georgia Southern remained red hot, taking down the Trojans in Statesboro. Georgia Southern (15-4, 8-2) has won four straight and eight of its last nine games. For the second straight game, the Eagles tallied double digit three pointers, nailing 12-28. The Trojans (8-13, 3-8) trailed by just five points, but Georgia Southern used a 10-0 run to blow the game open and UALR never got the game inside single digits again. UALR was led by Josh Hagins with 15 points.
TROY 55, UT ARLINGTON 54--The big surprise came from the Metroplex as Troy came back from a double digit deficit to knock off UTA. Kelton Ford scored two free throws with three seconds remaining to give Troy (8-12, 3-8) the season series sweep. Troy won despite shooting just 5-22 in the first half and just 31% for the game. The Troy defense held the Mavericks (12-9, 6-5) to just 7-26 from the field in the second half. UTA led by eight points with just under six minutes to play before the Trojans started the final rally. But the Trojans got a 10-0 spurt in the next three minutes to go on top 51-49. John Walton III had 18 points and ten rebounds to lead the Trojans.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 8-2
GEORGIA STATE 8-3
UL MONROE 8-3
UT ARLINGTON 6-5
*APPALACHIAN STATE 5-5
SOUTH ALABAMA 5-6
TEXAS STATE 4-7
ARKANSAS STATE 4-8
(*Appalachian State is not eligible for the conference tournament.)
Texas State at South Alabama
Appalachian State at Louisiana
UL Monroe at UALR
Troy @ Arkansas State
Georgia State at Georgia Southern
(information from sunbeltsports.org and member school websites contributed to this story.)