Jags Down UALR 70-66 In Little Rock On Saturday

February 4, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
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.

Jags Down Conference Rival WKU 65-57

January 25, 2013 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Augustine Rubit earned his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hilltoppers. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

Augustine Rubit earned his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hilltoppers. Photo by John Adams | usajaguars.com

The South Alabama men’s basketball team used a strong second half performance to defeat longtime conference rival Western Kentucky 65-57 Thursday night at the Mitchell Center. The Jags broke open the game with a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take control for good.

The Jags inprove to 10-8 overall on the season and 7-3 in Conference play and was the schools first back-to-back win since December 22. The Hilltoppers fall to 11-10 on the season and 5-5 in conference play. The Jags stay one game ahead of FIU for second place in the Eastern Division and continue to trail Middle Tennessee by two games for first place. WKU is tied with FAU for fourth place in the Eastern Division.

At halftime the Jag led 28-23 but early in the second half the Hilltoppers would catch up and take a 33-30 lead with 16:46 left in the game. But neither team would lead by more than three points until Augustine Rubit put in two free throws and Antoine Allen hit a three-pointer with 11:10 left in the game.

Hilltopper’s Aleksejs Rostov would answer with a layup but Allen would answer it with another three-pointer to begin a 9-0 run where the Jags would push out to their largest lead of the game, 51-39, with 8:36 left in the game.

“…right around that 12-, 13-minute mark we had a timeout and said, ‘Let’s just get this done guys and finish strong.’ As soon as I said that, it’s like they looked at each other and finished strong,” Price said after the game. “We just finished the game very strong.”

However the Jags struggles from the foul line allowed the Hilltoppers to work their way back into the game late. Brandon Harris would hit a three-pointer to cut the Jaguar lead to 60-54 with 53.7 seconds left. Jaguar players would only manage to hit two of their next four attempts from the foul line for an eight point lead.

Harris would be fouled while shooting a three-pointer by Javier Carter and he would pour in all three shots to cut the lead to 62-57 with 38.0 seconds left in the game, their closest margin since the 10:09 mark. Allen would sink both of his free throws and the Jaguar defense would tighten up and force two misses.

“Obviously just a really hard fought game,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “I thought our guys were tremendous. At a stretch at the 12-minute mark in the second half where we just turned it on and got that thing up to 10 points, mostly based out of the intensity of our defense. We keep stressing creating an offense out of our defense and getting stops and we’re going to have nights where we aren’t shooting the ball well and continue to defend and be intense and help each other. We were great helping each other.”

“Aug’s huge,” Price continued. “I’m so pleased with his effort. (He had) 19 (points), 11 (rebounds) with another double-double. Not that as much as just his will to win has been so good. And want the ball and finish plays and make things happen. He’s just been so good at that. His effort has just been tremendous and he’s willing this team to win right now. He’s been great. His motor has been great. He’s been playing heavy minutes. We try to give him rest as much as we can in practice. He comes to games ready to play. He’s running the floor great and he’s demanding the ball. He gets pushed off his spot a lot but comes back and gets it. He takes a beating and he keeps on ticking. He just has been tremendous.”

Augustine Rubit would earn his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. He complimented that with four blocks, two steals and two assists.

Antoine Allen went 3-of-6 from outside the arc to chip in 19 points and seven rebounds. Mychal Ammons would add 10 points and seven rebounds.

Javier Carter added seven points and two blocks to extend his streak to 12 consecutive games with a blocked shot and is one block behind Reginald Poole for 16th place on the Sun Belt’s career list with 168 blocks.

Freddie Goldstein would score three points before leaving the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. He did not return for the remainder of the game.

The Jags will host their third and final game of this three-game homestand when they host FIU on Sunday for a 4:05pm tipoff.

Jags Basketball Play Tennessee State In Atlants For Coaches Vs Cancer Classic

November 19, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The University of South Alabama Men’s Basketball team will take on Tennessee State in the next game of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the first meeting by the two schools.

The Tennessee State Tigers enter the game winless with an 0-3 record coming off of a 72-43 defeat at Minnesota on Thursday. Tennessee State head coach Travis Williams is in his first season with the Tigers, his fourth overall as a head coach.

The Jags enter the game after defeating William Carey in the Jags home opener 82-64 for their 21st consecutive home opener win.

Through November 16th the Jags are ranked #4 RPI by RealTimeRPI while being ranked #148 by the Sagarin rankings. TSU ranked #262 RPI and #177 in the Sagarin.

This is the first time the Jaguars has started the season 2-0 since the the 1996-1997 season when they finished 23-7 and won the Sun Belt title and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

In the second half against William Carey, Antoine Allen and Xavier Roberson combined to go 6-of-7 from the three-point arc. Augustine Rubit scored a game-high 20 points and missed a double-double by a single rebound. He scored 16 of his 20 in the first half and is currently in a tie for fifth place in the conference with an average of 16.0 points per game.

Javier Carter blocked seven shots against William Carey to extend his blocks streak to eight game. He leads the conference with an average of 6.5 blocks per game. Mychal Ammons recorded his third consecutive double-double with 19 points and a career high 13 rebounds. He is averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his last 11 games. He also leads the conference in rebounding with 12.0 per game while also ranking second in the conference in field goal percentage (66.7%).

The game will tip-off at 4pm EST, 3pm Central at the Georgia State Sports Arena. The game can be heard on 105.5 FM WNSP or on their web stream at http://www.wnsp.com/.

Jags Use Strong Second Half To Down William Carey 82-64 In Home Opener

November 15, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The South Alabama Jaguars Men’s Basketball team used a strong second half to defeat William Carey 82-64 in their home opener for the season. The Jags improve to 2-0 on the season while WCU used this game as an exhibition game.

William Carey led most of the first half but the Jags took the lead back late in the first half, but the Crusaders were able to steal the ball and lay it in before the buzzer to take a 36-36 tie into halftime. However the Jags would use a 12-0 run early in the second half to pull away.

“I kept telling everybody that that team was very athletic and could shoot the ball,” Jaguar head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “Not to take anything away from them, but we didn’t guard like we wanted to at the beginning of the game. We get a little hard-headed now and then where we have to be proven that they can shoot the ball and I think they proved it that they could shoot it in the first half.”

Sophomore Mychal Ammons earned his third consecutive double-double going back to last season with 19 points and 13 rebounds. “I think last year we played (Mychal) 95 percent outside,” Arrow stated. “He never played outside before but we thought that he could become a 6-foot-6 power ‘3’ man and all that skill work he did last year has helped him this year play the ‘3’ and the ‘4.’ He can put the ball on the floor better. Now he’s taking ‘4s’ off the dribble and when he takes it outside he’s taking ‘3s’ off the dribble so he can dribble penetrate better with all the experience he got from last year.”

Augustine Rubit, a junior, fell one rebound short of a double-double with 20 points, 16 in the first half, and nine rebounds. “I thought Aug was getting back to his form,” Arrow said. “He really isn’t back yet from his dislocated toe, but he was moving a lot better tonight.”

During the 12-0 run that put the Jags up for good, four different Jaguars contributed with scores. Junior Antoine Allen nailed back-to-back 3-pointers, the first for the Jaguars in the game, to cap off the run.

Midway through the second half the Jags had a 7-0 run with Xavier Roberson hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Jags lead to 59-44.

On the other side, William Carey opened the second half shooting 1-of-11 from the floor.

“We won’t face anybody all year that’s got a front line like they’ve got,” William Carey head coach Steve Knight said. “They finally started making some shots in the second half, and that hurt us. If you’re going to try to double the post, then they start making threes, it’s pick your poison. They did a much better job in the second half of mixing it up.”

Roberson scored 15 points, all in the second half. Senior Javier Carter tied a career high with three assists with seven blocks to tie him for fifth place in school history.

South Alabama will face Tennessee State on Monday at 3pm in the next round of the Coaches vs Cancer classic. They will play in Atlanta and hosted by Georgia State.

Jags Basketball Opens Home Opener Tonight At The Mitchell Center

November 14, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The South Alabama Men’s Basketball team will open their home schedule tonight when they host the William Carey Crusaders. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 pm at the Mitchell Center. All upper level seats will be on sale for $1 as will hot dogs from 6pm until halftime.

The game will be broadcast on 105.5 WNSP or it can be seen by subscribers to the Jaguars All-Access service.

The Jags enter the game on the heels of a huge win over top-25 ranks Florida State University. Last season the Jags lost to the Seminoles 80-39.

“I think our guys did a heck of a job of doing what they had to do to win,” Jaguar head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “Everybody that got into the game contributed. Did we do everything right? No, but we did a lot of good things.”

“At the end of the game, we showed the ability to win big games,” he continued. “We hit free throws, we got stops and if we didn’t get a stop, we held them to one shot. We showed maturity in key situations at the end of the game. For this early in the season, I thought that was good against a quality team.”

But the Jags had better treat their opponent with respect because their only loss was to Mississippi State by six points in an exhibition game.

Additionally on Tuesday South Alabama’s Antoine Allen was honored with a pair of awards for his play against Florida State. He was honored with the Lou Henson Award which is given to the top mid-major player in the country every week. He was also honored by the Sun Belt Conference as the player of the week for his performance.

Allen scored a career high 21 points to help lead the Jaguars over the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

Come out tonight and support your Jaguars!

Jags Basketball Prepping For Canadian Tour

August 9, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's, News · Comment 

A Frustrated Coach Arrow sheds his coat.

The Jaguar basketball team is gearing up for its summer exhibition tour through Canada. While preparing for this trip, Coach Arrow knew a few things must be addressed from last season. Last year’s Men’s basketball team ranked near the bottom of the SBC in the assist/turnover ratio and in turnover margin.

But with the experience of returning seniors Trey Anderson and Wendell Wright to help steer their new teammates Dre Connor and Barrington Stevens, Coach Arrow believes this team will be better. Anderson finished sixth in the conference in assists per game.

Coach Arrow has plans to help improve ball security. He is utilizing basic drills with high-pressure, game-like conditions with pressing defensive intensity to help ready them for game time.

“It doesn’t do you any good to dribble and pass with nobody on you—you have to do it with ‘heat’ on you to be able to fully develop those skills,” Arrow said. “We’ve tried to put as much pressure on those guards as we can. Today we’ll start working on our presses and working full court, which will enable them to not only do it in half-court situations, but in full court, with double teams and making decisions in the full 94 feet.”

Connor is a JuCo transfer while Stevens is a freshman. The third new member of the backcourt is Junior transfer Antoine Allen. He is formerly from Miami and will give the Jags an additional outside shot threat. “Antoine is further ahead than the other two guards,” Arrow commented. “I think a lot of it has to do with strength. He’s a lot stronger than they are and he’s able to maneuver and get open better because of that strength factor. He’s played at a higher level than they did at Miami. All of those things combined have allowed him to be further ahead than those two.”

The Jags will continue to work throughout the week before opening their exhibition tour on August 13 against Windsor.