Jaguar Men’s Basketball Defeat Detroit 74-58
The South Alabama Men’s basketball team opened their 2013-2014 season with a win 74-58 win over Detroit to give head basketball coach Matthew Graves the first victory in his head coaching career.
Junior Mychal Ammons earned his sixth career double-double with a career best 14 rebounds to go with 13 points and two blocks while making his only three-point attempt of the game. This is the 22nd consecutive season that the Jags have won their home opener.
Senior Antoine Allen scored 11 of his team high 17 points in the first half and went 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the game. Freshman Aakim Saintil came off the bench to add 12 points and 2 assists.
The Jaguar defense held Detroit to just 28.9% shooting for the game and 25.6% in the second half. Also, the Jags held Detroit to 1-for-14 shooting from outside the three-point line.
Detroit briefly had a lead after a Juwan Howard Jr. three-pointer put them up 3-2, but the Jags regained the lead on the next possession and never surrendered it.
Midway through the first half, Saintil led a 14-3 run that gave the Jags their largest lead of the game. He added nine of the 14 points in a four-minute stretch.
The lead grew to 22 points in the second half after a 13-2 run with scores from six different Jaguars.
USA committed only 15 turnovers in the game after committing 24 against Mobile in an exhibition game on Tuesday.
Augustine Rubit just missed another double-double as he finished with nine points and 12 rebounds. However he did record his 52nd career double-digit rebounding performance to break a tie with Terry Catlidge for first place in school history. He also moves into seventh place in career rebounds in Sun Belt Conference history with 903, he is only nine shy of sixth place. He is also seven points away from sixth place in USA history.
“First and foremost, I was really proud of our team’s effort,” Graves said in the postgame press conference. “I thought they came out right from the start and played aggressive. They shared the basketball and I was so happy to see us go from taking a good shot to taking a great shot. We did a great job sharing the ball. In the first half, I think we had eight assists on 13 field goals, which is outstanding. Defensively, we did a great job rebounding the basketball, especially from our guards’ standpoint. Our guards had over half of our defensive rebounds so in our two areas of emphasis in the first half we did a great job with both.”
“I would be remiss not to mention our defensive effort,” Graves said. “This is the second game in a row that we held a team under 30 percent field goal percentage. And if we continue to do that night in and night out it’s not going to matter what we shoot. We’re going to put ourselves in a great situation.”
“I thought they responded really well and part of that was the film session that we had on Wednesday,” Graves said. “Mobile did an outstanding job of preparing us for what we were going to see tonight. Our freshmen really listened and learned and we have to continue getting our post guys to handle the ball a little bit better. It’s new for them. We want them to play out on the perimeter and when they play out on the perimeter, it allows our guards better angles to drive and kick and make those extra passes. So I think our bigs will continue to get more comfortable handling the ball. I think ultimately our guards at the end there need to understand time and score and shot selection a little more. I think that will come with those young guys.”
The Jaguars will be hit the road to take on Texas. The game will be aired on the Longhorn Network with tip-off scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, November 12.