Jags Down UALR 70-66 In Little Rock On Saturday

February 4, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's 
Mychal scored 16 points against UALR, including two key shots and a block near the end. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Mychal scored 16 points against UALR, including two key shots and a block near the end. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The Jaguar men’s basketball team held on to defeat Arkansas-Little Rock 70-66 on Saturday. The Jags held a 15-point lead in the first half but needed a key shot by Mychal Ammons and some defensive stops to hold onto the win.

The win by the Jags improves their overall record to 12-9 on the season and 9-4 in Sun Belt play. Arkansas-Little Rock falls to 14-10 overall and 8-5 in Sun Belt play. The Jags continue to hold onto second place in the Eastern Division but are now solely in possession of second place overall in the conference. USA trails Middle Tennessee (20-4, 12-1 SBC) by three games. UALR falls into a tie with Arkansas State atop the Western Division but both have a four game lead over third place in the Western Division ULL (8-16, 4-9 SBC).

Augustine Rubit and Antoine Allen would both score a game-high 17 points each. Rubit would earn his 12th double-double of the season by adding 11 rebounds. Rubit also hit nine of his 12 attempts from the foul line.

Allen would go 3-of-7 from outside the arc while hitting on 11 of his attempts from the floor and dishing out three assists.

“I’m just really proud of our team,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “We did a great job of following the game plan. Our guys are buying to what we have to do to win. I thought we were extremely patient on the offensive end, which is what we talked about, we held them to 34 percent, we won the battle at the free throw line and they just did what we asked them to do.”

“Our team is always going to be better when we’re making perimeter shots,” Price said. “Antoine shot the ball well and it certainly helps, and I thought he was solid on the defensive end too. Everybody chipped in — the starters, the bench — it was just a great team effort.”

With 6:38 left in the game, the Jags held a 13 point advantage but they would see the Trojans cut it down to only two points in a span less than five minutes.

Following a Jaguar time out, Ammons would drive the right baseline for a key layup to give South Alabama a 66-62 advantage with 48.3 seconds left in the game.

“We were up two, called a play, got good execution and got a great basket from Mychal,” Price explained in the post game conference.

Ammons was not done though. On the defensive end on the UALR possession, be would block a shot that led to an Allen layup with 33 seconds left in the game.

Jaguar players would then go on to miss three of their last four foul shots to allow UALR to make it a one possession game. Ammons would come through again by hitting his final attempt of the game with 10.9 seconds left in the game to make the final score 70-66.

The Jags held the Trojans to 34.4% from the floor, the lowest allowed by a Jaguar opponent this season. In the first half, USA would force five consecutive missed shots and two turnovers over a four-and-a-half minute span in the first half for a 7-0 run to gain a 12 point lead on the Trojans.

“Home teams are going to make runs,” Price explained. “These guys hadn’t lost a league game at home yet, so you know they’re going to make a run. We talk about that all the time and I thought our guys did a good job of sticking their chest out, being resilient and fighting off the run at the end of the game.”

“We were just focused on the defensive end,” Price said. “We watched tape, we talked about it and I didn’t think we did a very good job at Arkansas State (Thursday). We did a really nice job of guarding the ball. They’re a very set-oriented team. I thought they were well scouted, we knew their offense and they had hard time in their sets.”

In the second half, UALR only managed to shoot 32.4% from the floor and were held to 4-of-17 shooting from outside the 3-point line.

Ammons would end the game with 16 points, one short of sharing the game high with Rubit and Allen. Ammons also made his only three-point attempt of the game.

Ben Dillard led the Trojans with 15 points while Josh Hagins added 13 points. Will Neighbour had a team-high 10 rebounds.

Jags will return home to face Troy to begin a three-game homestand.

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