By: Paul Letlow/ULM Athletics
MONROE La. – ULM delivered a consistent offensive performance Thursday night but that wasn’t a good thing.
Shooting woes plagued the Warhawks from start to finish at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in a 50-45 loss to Georgia Southern.
ULM (10-11, 2-7 Sun Belt) shot just 29.5 percent (18-of-61) in the contest while losing a third straight home game. The visiting Eagles (9-9, 2-5 Sun Belt) shot 36 percent but pulled away in the closing minutes as ULM failed to make a field goal over the final 4:50.
“All that being said, it was still a close game with four minutes to go,” ULM coach Keith Richard said. “We really struggled on the offensive end the whole game.”
Russell Harrison scored 17 points with 13 rebounds for his eighth career double-double. Andre Jones added 11 points. ULM made just 3-of-26 3-point shots.
“We couldn’t get to the rim,” Richard said. “And then we go 3-for-26 from the 3-point line. I know there were a few of them down the stretch we were wide open. We really moved the ball well to get those shots.”
Adding to ULM’s woes, the Warhawks saw starting point guard Elijah Gonzalez leave the game at the 7:02 mark of the first half with an apparent injury to his left knee. Gonzalez did not return.
“That’s where you miss Elijah,” Richard said of ULM’s late scoring drought that allowed Georgia Southern to pull out the win. “He frees somebody up for a possible layup or easy shot.”
In a game with 10 lead changes and seven ties, the Warhawks never put together a decisive run in a game where the biggest edge was five points. Georgia Southern snapped a three-game losing streak with the road win.
“It wasn’t a pretty game to watch,” Richard said. “I’m sure their coach would say the same thing. But give them credit. In those last four minutes, they found a way to muster up a few points and a couple of kids hit some big shots and we didn’t.”
ULM trailed 25-22 after an ugly first half that saw both teams struggle offensively.
The Warhawks opened the game 1-of-9 shooting from the floor and made just 10-of-33 shots overall in the half (30 percent). ULM finished the half on a 2-for-11 shooting skid and let the clock expire without getting off a final shot.
Up next: Concluding a four-game homestand, ULM will entertain Georgia State on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
Tail feathers: Thomas Howell came off the bench for the first time this season. Howell started ULM’s first 20 games. … There were six lead changes and five ties in the first half. … ULM didn’t attempt a free throw in the first half. … Georgia Southern outscored ULM 17-7 in points off turnovers and 16-8 on fast-break points. The Eagles also had a 27-7 scoring edge off the bench.