Slow Start Against UNT Dooms Jags

January 14, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's 

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The South Alabama men’s basketball team could not overcome a slow start early against North Texas to fall 66-56 in Denton, Texas on Saturday. The Jags would only make two of their first 19 field goal attempts with Augustine Rubit picking up two early fouls.

The Mean Green jumped out to a 26-7 lead early into the game and held onto that lead the remainder of the game. The loss drops the Jags to 8-8 on the season (5-3 SBC) while UNT improved to 7-11 overall (2-5 SBC).

The Jags shot a miserable 28.1% from the floor and a mere 51.7% from the free throw stripe. This was the Jags fourth consecutive loss to North Texas in Denton. It was also the Jags first loss on the road in Sun Belt play.

“We got off to a slow start and I thought Aug’s (Rubit) two early fouls certainly took our team out of rhythm,” interim coach Jeff Price said after the game. “When you shoot 28 percent from the field and you give up 17 points at the free throw line, it’s hard to win games on the road like that. Our team just needs to learn that when shots aren’t falling, you have to play both ends of the court.”

The Jags attempted a come back midway through the second half. They rallied from a 21-point deficit with a 21-6 run to get within six points with 1:55 left in the game. The Mean Green could only manage one field goal during the final 7:47 of the game. However they would stretch their lead back to 10 points on free throws. But a short run would put the Jags within six points again, 62-56, with 27.4 seconds left after Freddie Goldstein hit a three-pointer. Unfortunately that would be the last points by the Jags. The Mean green would continue making their free throws.

“This team will never die,” Price said. “They get it. They don’t miss shots on purpose. We won’t die and I thought we did a good job of showing character and fighting to get back in the game.”

“We just missed a lot of shots and we missed a lot of free throws,” Price said. “I think we missed eight points worth of free throws in the first half because some were frontends of one-and-ones. That’s enough for a whole game for sure.”

Rubit and Goldstein led the Jags in scoring with 12 points each. Rubit added a team-high nine rebounds to just miss another double-double. Mychal Ammons added 10 points off the bench.

The Jaguars will open a three game homestand beginning Thursday night when they host Louisiana-Monroe. Tip-off between the Jags and the Warhawks is set for 7:05pm at the Mitchell Center.

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