Men’s Basketball Ends Six-Game Skid And Sends WKU A Farewell Loss

February 17, 2014 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, Sun Belt Conference 

Jags_bballThe South Alabama men’s basketball team ended their six-game losing streak at Western Kentucky to bid farewell to the Hilltoppers, 69-62. This is the first road win for the Jaguars this season and could not have come at a better time.

The Jags never trailed in the game and built up a 19-point advantage at one point in the game. Augustine Rubit and Mychal Ammons both turned in double-double’s in the Jags final regular season game against WKU before they join Conference USA this summer.

Ammons led all players with a season-high 20 points and added 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. That was the most points by Ammons since December 1, 2012.

Rubit came away with a game-high 13 rebounds with 12 points and five blocks, tying his career best, to earn his first double-double in six games.

“We came in with a plan to win,” head coach Matthew Graves said. “The bottom line is our guys really communicated with one another. They understood this was a big game. This is a tough place to come in and play. Their fans are really good. We needed to come in here and play with energy and effort and communicate with each other, and from the opening tip we did that throughout the entire game.”

“I’m really proud,” Graves said. “It’s no secret Mychal has really struggled lately. Hopefully this will jumpstart him for the rest of the reason and we can continue to build off this. His mindset was just different tonight. He came in and attacked the rim. He didn’t settle too much. I’m really proud of how he bounced back.”

The Hilltoppers used two 10-2 runs in the second half to cut the 19-point Jaguar lead down to just seven with 5:32 left in the game. But Ammons and Rubit both held firm and answered each run to keep the Jaguars in the lead.

The Jags forced misses on three-consecutive possessions and got a layup from Aakim Saintil and three free throws from Antoine Allen adn Rubit to keep the Hilltoppers at bay.

“Well the one thing I told our players is WKU is a great program,” Graves said. “They have a culture and toughness about them, They’re going to make a run. We’ve just got to stay the course, continue to make hard cuts, and make good plays at the rim. Tonight, what we did different than in the past is when teams would make a run, we would settle for contested 3s or late-shot clock 3s and we did that a little tonight, but we also got a couple layups. Mike and Aug attacked the basket. We got to the free throw line. Guys stepped up for us and made some free throws for us down the stretch.”

Rubit passed Ed Rains for third place in school history and 13th place in conference history with 1,810 points and is only two away from 12th place. He also is within one double-double of Terry Catledge for first place in school history in the category with his 51st.

The Jags improve to 8-17 overall, 2-10 in conference play. While they are still in last place in Conference Standings, the Jags are only two games out of the eighth and final spot for in the conference tournament. The Jags have six games left this regular season.

The Jags will travel to Texas State on Thursday in the first of two games left this season against the Bobcats. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm.

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