Jags Win Double Overtime Thriller In Lafayette

January 11, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's 

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The University of South Alabama men’s basketball team survived a double overtime thriller in Lafayette Louisiana to defeat the Ragin’ Cajuns Thursday night. The Jags record improves to 8-7 overall and 5-2 in Sun Belt play while Louisiana-Lafayette’s record drops to 6-12 overall for the season and 2-5 in Sun Belt play.

The Jaguars led by as many as 13 points in the second half but were forced to rally from a late deficit in order to force overtime against the Cajuns.

“It was a hard-fought win on the road,” coach Jeff Price said. “I thought our guys did a great job of being very resilient in what became a tough atmosphere as the game went on. We had our lapses but we drew things up well late in the game and got a great look from Mike in regulation that didn’t go down. With about three minutes to go in regulation things didn’t look real good for us and I thought our guys did a really nice job of fighting back.”

“Mychal had some huge plays—some steals and plays at the basket and that dunk at the end of the game,” Price said. “He just took it strong to the basket and buried it with two hands.”

Mychal Ammons drove the left baseline to throw down a two-handed dunk with 19.3 seconds left to put the Jags ahead 91-89. This gave Ammons his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

But ULL had a shot to win the game at the end. Shawn Long threw up a 3-pointer that went halfway down the basket before bouncing out as time expired to leave the Jags with the win.

Augustine Rubit had 26 points for the game, 21 of them after halftime, and nine rebounds lead the Jags in scoring and falling one short of extending his double-double streak.  However Rubit did take over second place on the South Alabama all-time rebounding list. Dre Conner added 19 points in the game, 15 of them in the first half, before fouling out of the game for the first time this season. Antoine Allen added 19 points as well.

“I thought Aug did a really nice job late of understanding he had two or three guys on him and kicking the ball out. We just have to knock those shots down, regardless of who’s shooting them,” Price noted. “Aug just affects the game so much when you go in to him and he continues to get better at understanding he can make other guys better.”

ULL’s Elfrid Payton matched Rubit in scoring with 26 points with 22 of them coming after halftime. He also recorded seven assists and three steals. Bryant Mbamalu added 19 points, Long had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the game.

The Jags never trailed in the final period. Rubit and Allen combined for seven points to put the Jags up 89-84 early in the period. But ULL would resond with four unanswered points with Payton’s back-to-back layups. A period of almost two minutes would pass without either team scoring any points before Long hit the back end of two free throws to tie the game at 89 with 37.5 seconds left in the period. Ammons would get a two-handed slam with 19.3 seconds left for the final score.

In the second half of regulation, the Jags trailed by six points with 2:51 left in regulation after a three-pointer by Mbamalu. But Freddie Goldstein would answer with a three of his own on the subsequent possession to cut the lead in half. After a ULL free throw, Goldstein would nail another three with 1:42 left in regulation to pull the Jags within one point.

Both teams would trade free throws. Ammons would give the Jags a 74-73 lead with 34.3 seconds after a steal and a layup. ULL’s Payton would hit a free throw at the other end to tie the game. Ammons would miss a shot from the right baseline in the final seconds to send the game into overtime.

“If there’s a guy you want shooting them, it’s him,” Price said about Goldstein shooting three’s. “He’s an experienced senior and he jumped up and made a couple.”

In the first overtime neither team would lead by more than two points. Allen would tie the game at 82 with 44.4 seconds remaining in the period which would send the game into the second overtime period.

The Jags will continue their two-game road swing at North Texas on Saturday. The Jags and the Mean Green are scheduled to tipoff at 7pm.

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