Jags Fall To New Mexico State 58-52

December 5, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jags fell behind by 17 points early against New Mexico State but would rally back but could not overcome the Aggies, losing 58-52 Tuesday night at the Mitchell Center. With the loss the Jags fall to 4-4 on the season (2-0 SBC) and New Mexico State improves to 5-4 on the season.

South Alabama would close within two points with about two minutes left in the game, however missed free throws and two turnovers would be the Jags undoing.

“We had so many chances to win that ball game, but we just couldn’t get over the hump,” head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “It seemed like every time we got it to one point or three points we made a horrible decision on shot selection or turned the ball over.”

After the Jags took their only lead of the game at 4-2, the Aggies would go on a 21-2 run over an almost 10 minute span. The Jags would make their first field goal attempt of the game, but would go stone cold by missing 16 of their next 18 shots including a run of nine consecutive misses.

“We shot 31 percent,” Arrow said. “I thought our shot selection was pretty bad.”

Mychal Ammons agreed in his post-game interview, calling some of the Jaguars shot selections “crazy”.

However the Jags would respond with eight unanswered points that was capped off with a Freddie Goldstein three-pointer. Overall, they finished the half on a 19-8 run to go into the locker room down 31-25.

In the opening moments of the second half Ammons would cut the Aggie lead to two points after nailing a three-pointer, but New Mexico State would answer with a 9-2 run to extend their lead to nine points at 42-33 with 11:10 left in the game.

With 4:32 left in the game and trailing 53-46 the Jags would get a tip-in from Javier Carter and a three-pointer from Xavier Roberson around a pair of Aggies free throws to cut their lead to 54-51. But missed free throws by the Jaguars would prevent the Jags from cutting the Aggie lead down to one point.

The Aggies did just enough from the free throw line to put the pressure on the Jaguars, making 1-of-2 but Ammons would miss the front end of a 1 and 1 with 1:17 left in the game. Yet the Jags were within three points 55-52 with 33.7 seconds left, but a backdoor pass was deflected and stolen forcing the Jags to foul.

“We just right there at the end drew up a play,” Arrow said. “Mychal ran it and was wide open and we threw the ball away. That would have cut it to one point. We turn the ball over, they go down and instead of being down one they make the free throws and we’re down five. I’m happy that our guys came back but I’m disappointed in crucial situations we didn’t do what we could to win the game.”

“Tonight if we made our free throws we probably would have won the game,” Arrow continued. “(We were) nine for 17. We were leading the conference in free throw shooting. So we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. You only get so many times in a game. And it’s just sad because we still had an opportunity to win the game.”

Ammons would lead the Jags with 16 points and eight rebounds. Augustine Rubit and Carter both would score eight points each with 10 rebounds and 6 rebounds respectively. Roberson would chip in seven points and freshman Barrington Stevens added six points.

The Jags will go on the road for another non-conference match-up with UAB in Birmingham. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm at Bartow Arena.

Jags End Losing Streak By Defeating FAU 77-66

November 30, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The South Alabama men’s basketball team broke their three game losing streak with a win over Florida Atlantic Thursday night 77-66. The win improved the the Jaguars record to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the Sun Belt Conference while FAU’s record falls to 2-4 overall (0-1 SBC).

“We worked on their stuff for three full days and I think tonight we guarded them,” Jaguar head coach Ronnie Arrow said after the game. “We still didn’t guard the 3-point line, but overall I was very happy, especially with our guard play. We only had nine turnovers and we held them to 41 percent shooting (from the floor).”

The win marks the 300th conference win for the South Alabama program and also coach Arrow’s 111th conference win to tie him with Gene Bartow for the most in conference history.

“I’m more into being 1-0 in the conference,” Arrow said. “That’s the most important thing. We’re working on the conference now and we play Florida International Saturday. Being 2-0, that’s the record I’m interested in.”

The Jags scored a season-high 44 points in the first half behind a career-best 23 points from Xavier Roberson. He scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half on five 3-pointers by going 5-of-8 from outside the arc prior to halftime. Six of his eight second half points came from the free throw line.

“When our 3-point shooters are on, we’re going to beat a lot of teams by a lot of points,” Arrow explained.

The Jags were down 10-6 early in the game but Roberson nailed back-to-back 3-point shots to take the lead. A layup from Javier Carter lead to another 3-pointer by Roberson to put the Jag lead up to seven points. Another layup by Carter would cap off the 13-0 Jaguar run.

Before halftime, South Alabama would put together another scoring outburst as four different Jags chipped in for the 9-0 run. Augustine Rubit slam would cap off the surge and propel the Jags to an 18 point lead.

“We were scoring off of our defense,” Arrow said. “We were able to defend and that ignited our fast break.”

FAU would end the half on a 7-0 run capped off with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 44-33 at the half.

Both teams would cool off in the second half. South Alabama shot 50% in the first half, but would only shoot 30.8% in the second half. The Owls shooting percentage would fall by 10% in the second half as well.

FAU would only be able to get within seven points of the Jags in the final 2:19 of the game. The Jags would go 8-of-10 from the free throw line in the final 65 seconds of the game to help preserve the win.

Roberson would lead the Jags with his 23 points with 5 rebounds. Freddie Goldstein added 15 points with 3 assists. Augustine Rubit would add 11 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double while Javier Carter would also add 11 points but come one rebound shy of a double-double with 9 for the game. Four other Jaguars scored in single digits for the game.

FAU only had one player in double digits. Greg Gantt scored a game-high 29 points with 8 rebounds.

South Alabama will travel to play Florida International on Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 6:30pm Central time.

Jaguar Men Fall In Third Straight Game Of Coaches Vs Cancer Classic

November 23, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The South Alabama Men’s basketball team dropped their third consecutive game of the Coaches Versus Cancer Classic to fall to 2-3 on the season. Georgia State improves to 3-2 on the season after their third consecutive win.

Augustine Rubit scored 31 points to tie his career high, but the Panthers had two players score at least 25 points and made a defensive stop on the last possession to preserve the 75-73 win over the Jaguars.

The Panthers shot 50% from the floor and scored 43 points in the first half alone. They also converted 11 of 18 three-point attempts in the contest.

“We’ve got to go back to basics. We’re just not guarding,” Jaguar head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “Our teams have always been known for good man-to-man, pressure defenses and we’re not doing it. I thought they were going to score 100 points today. We’re not going to beat too many people holding them to 50 percent (from the floor). We have to get where we take more pride in our defense and stopping the ball.”

Rubit scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half on his way to his second straight double-double with 11 rebounds. He shot 13-of-18 from the floor, 5-of-6 from the free throw line while tying his career high with three assists and had two blocks and one steal.

“I thought he played very well, but I thought our guys did a good job of getting him the ball and he was finishing,” Arrow said.

GSU’s Manny Atkins scored 26 points, 19 of them in the first half, to lead the Panthers. R.J. Hunter added 25 with 16 of them coming in the second half while going 5-of-6 from outside the three-point arc.

“When someone is having a great game like Hunter, we can’t just be off of him,” Arrow said. “We got closer to him, but in situations like that, he doesn’t even get the ball. We kept just letting him catch it. He’s a good freshman, but we should have been smart enough not to let him get the ball.”

“It’s like we’re hard-headed,” Arrow continued. “They’re going to have to make a bunch before we get on them. When a team is making 3s, you don’t come off of them. You don’t come off guys that are hot.”

The Jags went into the locker room at halftime trailing by eight points but made up that deficit in the first 5:26 of the second half to tie the score at 47 when Mychal Ammons nailed a three-pointer.

However, the Jags were unable to take the lead even though they tied the game one other time. They battled back from a six point deficit midway through the second half and closed within one point twice, the second time with 4:48 left in the game on a Rubit layup.

But the Panthers answered back with an 8-1 run which was capped off by a 3-pointer by Atkins at the 2:22 mark. The Jags answered back with a run of their own as they got three-pointers from Freddie Goldstein and Xavier Roberson on three consecutive trips down the court. Roberson’s fourth and final one of the game made it a one point game with 34.6 seconds left.

Hunter would go to the line for the Panthers and made his first shot but missed the second to set up the Jaguars for one final shot with 11.3 seconds left in the game. Ammons drove the lane but was unable to get his shot to the net.

“We were trying to run a flare for Freddie,” Arrow said of the final play.

All 12 points by Roberson came from outside the three-point arc to be the only other Jaguar in double digits scoring in the game.

The Jags will have a week to correct their mistakes from this week and refocus on Sun Belt Conference play. The Jags will open Sun Belt play against Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL on Thursday, November 29 against Florida Atlantic with tipoff set for 6pm Central time.

Jags Fall For Second Day In A Row In Coaches Vs Cancer Classic

November 21, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The South Alabama Jaguars men’s basketball team fell for the second consecutive game in the Coaches versus Cancer Classic in Atlanta, Georgia. Monmouth’s Jesse Steele hit three free throws with 1.3 seconds left to give them the 73-71 win.

Those three free throws came seconds after Augustine Rubit hit three free throws of his own to give the Jaguars the lead 71-70 with 5.8 seconds left in the game.

The Jags fought back from a six point deficit in the final 3:16 before Steele’s final points of the game.

“I thought our guys really played hard, came back and had the game won,” Jaguars head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “The last thing I said to our guys was ‘don’t foul.’ The ball was there, Antoine (Allen) went for it and they called the foul. We have to do better in late-game situations. It’s just a shame that it ended like that. Hopefully we learn from it and the next time we get in that situation, we won’t foul.”

Rubit earned his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 16 rebounds while tying his career high of five blocks. Xavier Roberson scored 13 of this 18 points in the second half including three 3-point field goals in the final five minutes of the game.

Both teams traded double-digit runs in the second half. The Jags were trailing 45-41 early in the second half before an 11-0 run in just over two minutes put them in the lead.

But once that run ended, the Jags went silent by going without a field goal over the next seven-plus minutes while missing the next nine shots with three turnovers. Monmouth capitalized with a 12-0 run to retake the lead 57-52.

They would extend the lead over the Jags to seven points with 5:21 left in the game. Roberson would hit the first of his three late three-pointers to pull the Jags within four points.

“I thought tonight he did what we needed him to do, which is make shots for us,” Arrow said.

After a layup with 1:18 left in the game by Monmouth to push their lead to 70-66, Rubit would answer on the next possession with a three-point play. He would then grab a key rebound after a miss by Monmouth on their next possession.

“We did a good job there,” Arrow commented on the Jaguars rally late. “I thought Freddie (Goldstein) ran the plays that we called, we executed and Xavier hit a couple of big shots.”

After multiple scoring opportunities in the final seconds could not be converted by the Jags, Rubit would be fouled on a rebound attempt and sent to the free throw line. He would convert both shots to put the Jags ahead 71-70.

Then Steele would be fouled on the other end of the floor for the final three free throws that would seal the game.

South Alabama committed 25 turnovers in the game, both teams combined for 41 turnovers in the game. “They put a lot of pressure on us,” Arrow noted.

As mentioned before, Rubit would be the Jaguars leading scorer with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Roberson would end the game with 18 points, three rebounds and one assist. Mychal Ammons would chip in 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

South Alabama will complete play in the Coaches Versus Cancer Classic on Wednesday when they play against host school Georgia State with tip-off slated for 2pm Central time. The game can be heard live on the WNSP website.

Second Half Shooting Woes Down Jaguars Against Tennessee State

November 20, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

A shooting drought in the second half allowed Tennessee State to pull away from South Alabama on Monday in Atlanta. The Jags went over nine minutes without a field goal late in the second half as Tennessee State pulled away for a 68-57 win Monday night in the Coaches versus Cancer Classic at the Georgia State Sports Arena.

South Alabama falls to 2-1 on the young season while TSU get their first win to improve to 1-3 on the season.

“It was an absolute, total let-down in the first half,” Jags head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “I hate to say it, but we played selfishly. As good as we have been playing, we took too many bad shots. I don’t even have to look at the stats to see we took bad shots. We didn’t work the ball around.”

TSU did not waste any time getting started as they scored within three seconds of winning the opening tip. They then jumped out to a 13-2 lead on the Jags as they missed their first three shots and committed three turnovers before making their first shot of the game.

At halftime the TSU Tigers had a 36-24 lead.

But the Jags would start the second half strong by scoring the first nine points of the half to get within three points of the Tigers 36-33. Augustine Rubit accounted for eight of those nine points in less that three minutes of play.

However, three points were as close as the Jags would get. Xavier Roberson would hit a jumper with 15:07 left in the game to cut the lead back to 38-35, but TSU would score the next four points to extend their lead back to seven points. The two schools would trade scores over the next few minutes before a 7-0 run by TSU to further extend their lead to 51-39.

Then a layup from Rubit at the 10:24 mark would pull the Jags within 51-43, but the team would go stone cold. The Jags would miss their next six shots with three turnovers and would go only 4-of-9 from the free throw line during that span. The Tigers would pounce on the shooting woes to go on a 17-4 run to open up a 68-47 lead.

“We played with energy,” Arrow said of the comeback early in the second half. “We gave ourselves a chance—we made the extra pass and got layups.”

“We didn’t run our offense,” Arrow continued. “We couldn’t run our offense because we were shooting the ball. We had horrible decision making with the ball.”

“They kicked our tail on the boards. We had seven offensive rebounds. They took us to the ‘shed on the boards. We’re not rebounding like we did year. We have to do something about that. This team should be a very good rebounding team.”

Augustine Rubit would lead all players with 21 points, 19 of them in the second half. He shot 7-of-10 from the floor and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. “We weren’t getting him the ball (in the first half) and he wasn’t moving around much to get the ball. He started out slow. In the second half he got some more movement.”

Mychal Ammons would be the only other Jaguar to score double digit points with 11 and would lead all Jaguars with seven rebounds.

South Alabama will have to rebound quickly as they face Monmouth on Tuesday at 3pm Central time. The game can be heard on 105.5-FM WSNP and http://www.wnsp.com/.

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.

USA Men Defeat Spring Hill 73-40

November 6, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The Jaguar Men’s Basketball team defeated the Spring Hill Badgers 73-40 in an exhibition game Monday night at the Mitchell Center. The defense led the way as the Jags held their opponents to 21.7% shooting in the second half and 28.3% for the game.

“I think that our defense was really good tonight,” Jaguars Men’s Basketball head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “We held them to 28 percent. Last year we beat them by 24 and won 17 games. We’ll use it as a measuring stick. We’ve got to go to work because the next game is a big game for us and we’ve got a lot of work to do as far as taking care of the ball.”

Sophomore Mychal Ammons scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half while pulling down eight rebounds. He scored 10 in a row late in the second half. “I thought late in the game Mychal came up with some big things for us,” Arrow said.

Neither the Jags nor the Badgers shot well in the game. The Jags only converted 34.5% of their shots from the floor including 29% in the first half.

The Jags began on a shooting slump by going 0-for-10 with five turnovers in a stretch that spanned nearly eight minutes. That stretch allowed the Badgers to cut the Jaguar lead to 21-17, a mere four points, with 3:55 left to play in the first half. But the Jags defense turned up the heat and allowed the Jags to close the half with a 10-1 run.

“The press early was good but our half-court defense limited them and held them to 28 percent,” Arrow commented. “Any time you hold a team to 28 percent I think that’s pretty good.”

Mychal Ammons lead the Jags with 21 points going 8-of-11 from the field and 2-of-3 from three point range. Freddie Goldstein and Xavier Roberson both scored 13 points each. Goldstein added eight rebounds. Augustine Rubit chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds for the game. Three other Jags scored for the Jags as well.

The Jags wrapped up their preseason exhibition schedule with a 3-1 record. They will open up the regular season with a trip to Florida State on Friday with a game against the Seminoles set to tip-off at 6pm.

Jags Basketball Split First Two Games, Final Game Of Tour Tonight

August 16, 2012 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

South Alabama basketball got a head start on the season this week as they began their Canadian exhibition tour.

The Jags first game was against Windsor in Ontario, Canada. It took a big fourth-quarter rally in order for the Jags to send the game into overtime. But the Jags were outscored 8-6 in the overtime period to fall 82-80.

Junior Augustine Rubit led all players with 27 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Mychal Ammons also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Seniors Javier Carter and Freddie Goldstein scored in double digits with 17 and 11 respectively.

“I thought we came out and played good early in the first four or five minutes but we let them get too far ahead,” said Jaguar Men’s head basketball coach Ronnie Arrow. “We had a great comeback but we just couldn’t finish it out. Hopefully we learned from it, which is what this is all about. Naturally we want to win, but I think this did us some good. We saw some things that we need to work on. Tomorrow night we’ll start a completely different bunch—we’ll probably play the two new inside guys a lot more than the ones back from last year and give them a chance to get some minutes.”

“We shot 38 percent (from the floor) in the first half, that was the start of it, and then we didn’t guard on top of it and that’s how we got down so much,” Arrow said.

The Jags entered the fourth quarter trailing 60-46 as the Jags were outpaced 26-17 in the third quarter.

Tuesday night the Jags took on Western (Ontario) University in London, Ontario, Canada. The Jags busted the game wide open with a 21-2 run in the third quarter as they ran away with a 68-47 win.

South Alabama was led by senior Xavier Roberson who scored a game-high 15 points off the bench. He shot 6-for-9 from the floor and 2-for4 from three point range and added three assists. Junior Augustine Rubit also came off the bench to add 11 points and two steals.

Coach Arrow started a completely different starting lineup from Monday nights loss. The new lineup came out of the gates quickly with a 5-1 run and used a 16-3 run to build a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter. Western got within five points in the second quarter but the Jags tightened up the defense. Western missed their first five shots of the second half and went 1-for-14 from the floor with six turnovers in the third quarter.

“I thought tonight we really got out and played hard,” said Jaguar Men’s head basketball coach Ronnie Arrow. “We had some guys that were hurt last night and didn’t play and they really helped us tonight. I thought our defense really helped us score.”

“Our effort defensively tonight was good,” he continued. “We practice that good defense leads to offense. I was telling our guys that I hope they understand that tonight because I thought this team had some good shooters and were quicker overall, and we used that defense tonight to take out some good shooters out of their range.”

The Jags will close out their trip won Thursday night at 6pm CDT.