South Alabama Sports Weekend Roundup
The South Alabama Men’s basketball team lost 72-60 to Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Arkansas on Saturday night for thier sixth consecutive loss. The Jags fell to 6-11 overall and 0-4 in Sun Belt play while Arkansas State improves to 10-5 overall and 3-1 in Sun Belt play.
South Alabama shot 34.5% from the floor and 28.6% from 3-point range. Freshman Aakim Saintil led the Jags in scoring with 10 points while Augustine Rubit added nine points and seven rebounds. Freshman Ken Williams also scored nine points while Mychal Ammons added eight points and seven rebounds. Freshman Isaiah Maston scored eight points. Only one Jaguar made four field goals with no other Jaguar equally or surpassing that.
The Red Wolves outrebounded the Jaguars 41-33 as USA only had five assists to go along with nine turnovers.
ASU’s Kirk Van Slyke led all scorers with 21 points and 14 rebounds with Ed Townsel added 12 points and 10 rebounds as they shot 42.6% from the floor though the Jaguars did hold them to only 25% shooting from outside the 3-point arc.
South Alabama will try to get their first conference win this week when they return to Mobile to host two-consecutive games. The first will be on Thursday evening against Louisiana-Lafayette at 7:05pm then they will host Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at 4:05pm.
South Alabama and UAB will meet for the first time on the gridiron in 2015.
The Blazers and the Jaguars were once in-state rivals when they both were in the Sun Belt Conference. They have renewed their basketball rivalry on the hardwood many times since the Blazer moved the Conference USA but they have not faced each other since South Alabama began their football program in 2009.
UAB finished the season with a 2-10 record (1-7 in Conference USA play) and lost it’s final six games of the season including a 62-27 loss to previously winless Southern Miss in their season finale. They then lost their head coach of two years, Garrick McGee, when he announced he was leaving to take the offensive coordinator position at Louisville under Bobby Petrino again.
UAB and USA will have a two-game home-and-home series with the first game being played at Legion Field in Birmingham on September 19, 2015 then the second game being played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile on September 10, 2016.
The Jaguars finished their first season as a full FBS member with a 6-6 record (4-3 SBC) and were bowl eligible, but were not selected for a bowl game.
“Playing UAB is going to be good for our program as well as theirs, any time you can play teams in-state it’s a good thing. We are looking forward to that rivalry,” South Alabama head coach Joey Jones said. “I think this will be very similar to the UAB-Troy series which has been going on for a while now, both those schools have benefited from that rivalry. I feel that these games will be very similar in that respect.”
USA defeated the only Conference USA school they have faced when they defeated Tulane 41-39 in the second game of the season. In future schedules they have a home-and-home against Louisiana Tech in ’17 and ’18, Tulane in ’19 and ’20 and Southern Miss in ’20 and ’21.
“This is truly a great in-state series for the fans,” Erdmann said. “Each institution has a substantial amount of alumni and current students located within a reasonable driving distance of both Mobile and Birmingham. We are excited about playing UAB and encourage our fans to mark their calendars far in advance.”
After opening Sun Belt play with back-to-back wins, the Lady Jaguars have back-to-back losses as they fell to Arkansas State 73-60 on Saturday afternoon.
The Jags led by eight early in the second half, but a big run by the Red Wolves was the difference in the game. USA falls to 4-10 overall (2-2 SBC) while ASU improves to 10-6 overall (4-0 SBC).
Meghan Dunn and Colby Davis missed tying career highs with 18 and 15 respectively as Dunn was 6-of-10 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range and the same from the free throw line. Davis was 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Ronneka Robertson, Sun Belt Conference’s second-leading rebounder, was held without a rebound in the game but managed eight points. She was averaging 9.1 rebounds per game.
The Jags shot 47.8% in the first half but the Red Wolf defense clamped down and held the Jags to a mere 7-of-24 (29.2%) shooting in the second half. Meanwhile ASU shot 51.7% (15-of-29) in the second half and 42.9% for the game.
The Lady Jags will look to snap their two game skid when they host Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday to begin a two-game home-stand. They will host Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday as well.
Improvements continue at Jaguar Field, the home of the South Alabama Softball team.
After winning their second-consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship and hosting their first NCAA Tournament regional, the athletic department and head coach Becky Clark came together to consider improvements for the program.
Construction crews are busy at work building a new hitting facility that will be located down the third base line that will include hitting bays, storage areas, video analysis areas and a covered bullpen.
The press box and concession stand has been demolished to make room for a new press box and concession stand that will be larger and will include a radio broadcast booth. New bleachers are being added to have seating from dugout to dugout with a number of chairback seats located behind home plate. New dugouts are being constructed and will be sunken, unlike the dugouts they will be replacing, to help eliminate some of the obstructed views for pans that existed previously.
Athletic Director Joel Erdmann said that the idea is to take Eddie Stanky Field’s look and to somewhat replicate it at Jaguar Field for a mini-Eddie Stanky Field for softball.
It’s also a bit of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ as UAB just had a big upgrade and Troy is in the midst of an upgrade.
Below is a video interview that AL.com conducted with Becky Clark talking about the changes being made for the program.