Jaguars Come From Behind For Win Over Middle Tennessee

February 20, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

Jaguars turn up the defense and rally from nine points down for their third consecutive victory. With this win the Jaguars improve to 16-11 overall and 9-7 in the Sun Belt Conference while the Blue Raiders fall to 15-12 overall and 8-7 in the Sun Belt Conference.

MTSu started the game with a 7-0 run in the first three minutes of the game. The Jaguars would follow that up with a 6-0 run of their own in the next three minutes. Both teams would trade baskets over the next five minutes until USA finally gained the lead on a dunk by Ronald Douglas at the 9:01 mark of the first half.

The Jaguar lead would get out to as much as three points, 16-13, before MTSU would come back to regain the lead and go into halftime with a 26-23 advantage.

The beginning of the second half started simlarly to the first half with MTSU jumping out with an 8-2 runover the first three minutes. This run would put the Blue Raiders in front by nine points, 34-25, with 17:06 left in the second half. Early in the second half, LaShun Watson took an elbow to the mouth. It resulted in Watson receiving five stitches and he did not return to the game.

Down 41-33 with 11:25 remaining in the second half the Jaguars would regain the lead and control of the game with a 15-2 run over a five and a half minute run to take a five point lead. Kevin Kanaskie tried to keep the Blue Raiders in the game with a 3-pointer, cutting the lead back down to two, but USA would not let them get closer than that moment the rest of the way. The Jaguars would win the game 63-57.

Coach Arrow remarked about the game, “That was a very, very physical game. Both teams came out and got after it. The difference in the game was we held them to 36 percent and we had nine blocked shots. When you have that many blocked shots from guys getting to the hole, that’s almost like a turnover.”

Freshman phenom CJ Garner lead all USA scorers with 15 points for a career high, with 13 of them coming in the second half. More impressively he hit 5-6 free-throws in the final 38 seconds to help seal the victory. Coach Arrow remarked about Garner, “C.J. is growing up; he’s not a freshman anymore, We call him an advanced freshman, with all the experience that he’s gotten. He ran his team tonight very well.”

Three other Jaguars scored 11 points each: Domonic Tilford who went 6-6 fron the free throw line and made the only Jaguar 3-pointer for the game. DeAndre Coleman added 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for his seventh double-double of the season and his ninth of his career. Ronald Douglas scored 11 points and had five blocked shots but only made 5-12 free throw attempts for the game.

MTSU had a pair of players score 15 points: Desmond Yates and Memetrius Green with only one 3-pointer between them. Kevin Kanaskie was the only other player in double digits for the Blue Raider with 11 being held to three 3-pointers for the contest.

USA held MTSU to 36% shooting for the game and 4-13 for the game from beyond the 3-point arc. But USA dominated the free-throw line going 28-42 while MTSU went 5-12. MTSU obviously had foul problems with Yates fouling out with 6:21 remaining in the game and another bench player fouling out in the game plus two other starters with four fouls each.

This win moves USA over Middle Tennessee to the 3rd position in the eastern division of the Sun Belt Conference, a full three games behind Troy for second place in the eastern division.

The Jaguars return home for their regular season finale when they host Louisiana-Monroe for a 7:05pm match-up in the Mitchell Center.

So come out and SUPPORT YOUR JAGS!!!

Jaguars Win In Impressive Fashion Over FAU

February 15, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jaguars showed what they can do when they are hitting on all cylinders. They never trailed during the game and shot over 67% from the floor for the contest in their fourth consecutive home victory to get them above .500 for the season in the Sun Belt Conference.

Throughout the first ten minutes of the first half, FAU would not let USA get too far from their sights and would close the gap to within one point. But with a 15-3 run the Jags would never look back for the rest of the half gaining a 15 point advantage several times in the final four minutes of the half, going into the locker room up 46-31.

The second half would see both teams trading baskets but USA would eventually inch out to a 21 point lead at 60-39 at the 14:13 mark in the second half. FAU would not give up, battling back with a 15-5 run in just under four minutes to close the lead to 11 points, 65-54.

FAU and the Jaguars would continue trading shots until FAU closed the lead by one more point to 10, 77-67, with 4:48 remaining in the game. But USA would finish the game with a 14-3 run for the final score of 91-70.

Coach Arrow said after the game, “I thought tonight that we went ahead and put them away. We shared the ball really well tonight. Twenty-six assists is super. We executed our plays and in transition. When we took the lead early, our defense got steals, layups and deflections. We played with a lot of energy to start the game.”

Florida Atlantic’s Paul Graham III lead all in scoring with 27 points on 10-22 shooting, going 3-8 from 3-point range and hitting all four of his free-throw attempts. Shavar Richardson added 24 points as well as being the only other player in double-digits for FAU.

Brandon Davis lead the way for the Jags with 23 points on 9-10 shooting from the floor and 5-6 from the free-throw line, he did not attempt any 3-point shots. Domonic Tilford scored 17 points hitting 3 of the Jaguars six 3-pointers for the game. LaShun Watson scored 12 points and had a tie for the most assists for the game with DeAndre Coleman with 7. Bryan Sherrer scored 11 and CJ Garner added 10 points to round out the double digit scorers.

USA as a team has 8 blocks and 13 turnovers compared with FAU’s one block and 9 forced turnovers. USA led with 46 points in the paint to FAU’s 20 and 27 fast break points to FAU’s 2.

The Jaguars are back in action on Thursday when they travel to Middle Tennessee State for a 7pm tip-off against the Blue Raiders who won their previous match-up at the Mitchell Center 82-67. A win against MTSU would move USA over MTSU into 3rd place in the Eastern Division.

GO JAGUARS!

USA Win On Buzzer Beating Shot Against FIU

February 13, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

South Alabama finally got to celebrate after a buzzer beating shot this season. Over the previous several weeks, USA have been on the losing end of the last second shot brigade but LaShun Watson nailed a 3-pointer as the clock expired to give the Jaguars a much needed 66-65 win Thursday night at the Mitchell Center.

USA would score first on a Ronald Douglas layup but it would be FIU who would gain the lead for the next three minutes of the game. A jumper by Brandon Davis would tie the game again at the 16:41 mark.

Over the next five minutes a team would get a small lead then the other would come back on a short run to retake a short lead. This was until the Jaguars went on an 11-0 run over a four minute span to firmly take the lead by eight at 25-17 and would not give it up again the rest of the first half. FIU would close the gap to three points with a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the first half to go into the locker room down 35-32.

The second half would start with USA shooting 7 for 11 from the floor while holding FIU to only 2 for 10 and taking a 10 point lead in the meantime. USA held a 10 point lead three times in the second half, once at the 11:14 mark, the second at the 9:26 mark and the third at the 5:34 mark.

However the lead would not last with FIU going on a 10-2 run with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers by Alex Galindo while USA could only muster two free-throws during that stretch. USA was then up 62-60 when CJ Garner was fouled with 1:15 left in the game, he only made one of this two shots. Then a layup by FIU shrunk the lead to one with 1:07 left and FIU called a 30 second time out.

Watson missed a jumper with 43 seconds left that would have put USA up by three points but FIU would come away with the rebound and call another time out with 33 seconds left. Coming off the time out, FIU’s Alex Galindo hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left forcing USA to take a time out with 7 seconds left to set up a game tieing or game winning play.

Coach Arrow said after the game, “It was a flare play for (Dominic) Tilford, and Bryan (Sherrer) had enough about him to see they jammed him, but he found LaShun (Watson) and he nailed the shot.”

FIU’s Alex Galindo lead all in scoring with 26 points on 8-15 field goal shooting while hitting 8-11 from 3-point range and both free-throw attempts. Russell Hicks added 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Tremayne Russell also added 12 points in the losing cause.

LaShun Watson lead USA in scoring with 17 no 7-11 field goal shooting, going 2-2 from the free-throw line and hitting his only attempt at a three for the game at the buzzer. Brandon Davis added 14 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Ronald Douglas added another 10 points in the win. Davis’ 10th double-double of his career and leads all active USA players in that category as well as moving into 9th place all-time in rebounding in USA history.

Again, poor free-throw shooting by USA combined with 10-19 3-point shooting by FIU made for a close game.

USA improves to 14-11 for the season and evens their Sun Belt record to 7-7 while FIU falls to 10-17 and 5-9 in the SBC. USA will get a day off before hosting Florida Atlantic on Valentines day with a 7:05pm tip-off at the Mitchell Center.

So go out for an early Valentines Dinner with your special someone and then head over to the Mitchell Center to support your JAGUARS!!