Jags Hold On To Defeat ULM 77-72

January 4, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's 

Augustine Rubit scored a career-high 32 points against Louisiana-Monroe. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The South Alabama Jaguar Men’s basketball team held off a late surge by Louisiana-Monroe to notch a 77-72 Sun Belt win. It took a career night by junior Augustine Rubit to do it though. South Alabama moves into a tie for first place after the Western Kentucky loss to UALR. The Jags overall record improves to 7-6 on the season and 4-1 in Sun Belt play while ULM falls to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in Sun Belt play.

Rubit broke his career high in scoring with 32 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to get his fifth consecutive double-double and his 34th in his career. He only missed one shot from the floor and two from the foul line.

“He was outstanding,” said interim head coach Jeff Price about Rubit. “He was a dominant factor in the game. Their posts were undersized and had a hard time with him. I thought he did a nice job of sharing the ball and kicking it out. We got some nice looks outside because of him. He’s just been playing great lately. His effort’s been great, his attitude is good and he’s playing extremely well right now.”

This win came one game after a season low shooting performance by the Jags. They shot a season best 59.1% from the floor however they tied their season high of 25 turnovers which translated into 33 points for the Warhawks.

“Anytime you win on the road, it’s good,” Price continued. “We all know that road wins are hard to get and I’m obviously happy we were able to pull the game out. I thought the margin should have been greater. We hurt ourselves turning the ball over so much and we didn’t need to. We got a little too careless. We need to learn not to get too comfortable with the lead and let people back in the game. We have to play better down the stretch. I’ll look at the tape and see what I can do better to help us finish. We just didn’t finish the game real well.”

“Again, I need to look at the tape, but a lot of them were just unforced turnovers,” Price said about the turnovers. “It’s not like Monroe is a big pressure team. To our credit, we were trying to share the ball, but at times we were forcing it too much, trying to force it in to Aug, make a big play or thread a needle. We just have to understand the value of the basketball and how important it is. We’re not good enough to throw the ball away like that.”

The only other Jaguar to score in double digits was Dre Conner who had a season-best 12 points.

The Jags lead by as much as 17 points in the first half and led 71-59 with under three-and-a-half minutes left in the game. However the Warhawks would muster a 10-2 to get within four points of the Jaguars with 1:16 left in the game.

Conner would put back his own missed shot on the Jags next possession to extend their lead to six points. Rubit would add a free throw after the Warhawks would miss a three-point attempt.

However on the next ULM possession they would hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds left in the game to cut the lead back down to four points. However freshman Barrington Stevens III would convert from the foul line the Jags would force a turnover before the final buzzer to preserve the win.

“We did what we had to do and that’s a good sign,” Price said of the ending. “In the last minute we did what we had to do to win the game and made our free throws down the stretch. We got some stops when we had to and got some big rebounds. We just got careless in the last three minutes of the game and I need to take a look at that and see what I can do to make us better in those situations, but we’ll move forward.”

Unlike the last game where the Jags got behind early and never lead, this time the Jags jumped out to a 23-6 lead and kept that lead for the entire game. Rubit scored nine of those 23 points and the team hit 10 of their first 15 shots.

“The biggest difference early was us defensively creating some offensive opportunities,” Price said. “We did a nice job of getting the ball inside and not taking some jump shots. I thought that was real important.”

The Jags return home to the Mitchell Center to host Middle Tennessee State on Saturday with tipoff set for 7:05pm. Middle Tennsee is 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Sun Belt play with a 3-2 record on the road.

Come out and support YOUR South Alabama Jaguars!


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