Jags can't overcome Little Rock's hit shooting and lose again on road
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Little Rock scored 18 unanswered points late in the first half and went on to defeat the University of South Alabama men's basketball team 91-62 Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.
Deondre Burns scored 22 points off the bench for the Trojans (7-10, 2-2 Sun Belt) to lead a group of four in double-digit points. He had seven in the 18-0 run and finished 7 for 9 from the floor and 3 for 4 from 3-point land.
Little Rock made all six field-goal attempts during the scoring burst and forced South Alabama (9-8, 2-2) into five turnovers and four missed shots.
Junior Trhae Mitchell had a team-high 22 points and 6 rebounds for the Jags, who shot 31.3 percent from the floor in the second half after converting 52.2 percent in the first.
- Little Rock never trailed and jumped out to an 8-0 lead after 2 minutes
- Senior Rodrick Sikes scored five of South Alabama's next seven points in a 7-2 run to get the Jaguars back to a 10-7 scoreline
- The Trojans went on a 9-2 rally to take their first double-digit lead of the game at 30-19 with 8:02 to play in the first half
- After a 3-pointer from graduate Kory Holden pulled the Jaguars within 34-27, a free throw from Kris Bankston started the run of 18 consecutive points
- Burns scored the next seven points himself on two free throws, a short jumper and a 3-pointer to put the Trojans up 44-27
- Nikola Maric followed with a 3-point play, and Jaizec Lottie and Kamani Johnson capped off the run with a triple and a dunk, respectively
- USA got as close as 17 in the early going of the second half, but an 8-2 answer by LR put the lead back up to 23 and the Jaguars got no closer than 20 the rest of the way
- Holden and junior Josh Ajayi finished with 14 points each
- Ajayi grabbed three rebounds to give him 501 for his career
- Rayjon Tucker, who entered Saturday as the conference's second-leading scorer at 21.1 points per game, was held to 6 on 1-for-4 shooting
- South Alabama forced 17 turnovers, matching their average in the last three games, but had just three steals; the team was averaging a conference-best 9.0 steals in league games coming into the contest
- Mitchell hit the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season
- The Jaguars fell to 1-7 when trailing at the half and 0-7 when being outshot
- Ajayi extended his double-digit scoring streak to 12, the longest active run on the team
- South Alabama has lost by an average of 25.7 points in their last three trips to Little Rock; The Jags are 2-5 in their last seven road games in the series with four losses by 17 points or more