Head coach Keith Richard can see the good in his team, even if the record and the current 10-game losing streak would paint a different picture.
But he also realizes that bad stretches in any game can derail the best effort. It’s a familiar pattern that has undermined ULM basketball this season.
“We’re not a bad team and it’s not that we’re not very good,” Richard said. “There’s minutes in all these games all year long where we look like a pretty decent basketball team. But, there is something not right with this team, whether it be some added personnel or the right mix and matching. Whatever it is, I don’t know. If I knew, I’d have done it already. But it keeps us from being better than our record shows.”
Four players reached double figures in scoring for ULM on Saturday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum, but it wasn’t enough to stop Georgia State in a 77-69 loss.
Tyree White led the way with 19 points along with nine rebounds while Michael Ertel added 17 points. Off the bench, Youry White delivered career highs in points (11) and rebounds (10) for his first double-double. Erie Olonade also scored 11 points for the Warhawks.
ULM (6-17, 2-12) let this one get away with a bad stretch to open the second half.
The Panthers emerged from the break with an 11-2 run to go ahead 43-31 as ULM fell into a lull. Tyree White’s fast break dunk at the 15:17 mark broke the streak but the damage was done.
“I guess I’m going to have to do something different the first five minutes of the second half because it cost us both these games,” said Richard, whose team suffered a similar second-half slump in Thursday night’s 67-65 loss to Georgia Southern.
ULM kept it close through most of the first half with a solid defensive effort. Georgia State pulled away from a 17-17 tie with a 9-0 run as ULM went 3:45 without scoring.
“We played great half-court defense in the first half,” Richard said. “I mean great. But turnovers and offensive rebounds. … sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.”
The Warhawks struggled with a field goal drought that lasted more than five minutes but stayed close as Georgia State also couldn’t buy a bucket for more than five minutes (0-for-8). ULM cut the lead to one at 28-27 on a pair of Josh Nicholas free throws and trailed 32-29 at halftime.
Boosted by its fast start in the second half, Georgia State built its biggest lead of 16 at 56-40 with 9:40 remaining in the game before a 9-0 ULM run cut the deficit to 56-49.
Back-to-back jumpers from Ertel shaved the lead to five at 63-58 during a productive stretch that saw ULM make five consecutive baskets.
Allen stroked a 3-pointer from the corner and hit a short jumper to quiet the Warhawks and extend the lead back to 68-58.
White delivered a follow dunk and scored off a steal during ULM’s final push to shave the deficit down to 70-64.
The Panthers would close out their road win at the free-throw line, where they shot a robust 22-of-25 for the game. Kane Williams, who scored 19 points, was 13-of-14 from the line.
South Alabama used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead and never let it slip below 11 points for the rest of the game, cruising to a 73-39 win over the ULM women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
“Hats off to South Alabama and their coaching staff,” ULM head coach Brooks Donald Williams said. “I thought they played really well on both ends of the floor today. They are extremely tough.”
The Warhawks struggled all afternoon, shooting just 22.9% from the field (11-of-48) and connecting on just 3-of-16 3-pointers (18.8%). Meanwhile, South Alabama shot 48.6% from the floor (30-of-62) and made seven treys on the day.
South Alabama used a 9-0 first quarter run to grab a 12-2 lead, but ULM fought back. Free throws by Diamond Brooks brought ULM within six at the end of a quarter at 17-11. More Brooks free throws and a runner in the lane from Gara Beth Self closed the gap to two at 17-15 with 8:51 left in the half.
That’s when the Jags used their 13-0 run to claim control of the game. The Jaguars led by as much as 15 before halftime and led by 12 at the break, 34-22.
ULM closed within 11 early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Whitney Goins. However, the Warhawks wouldn’t score again for nearly four minutes, as South Alabama went on a 10-0 run. After a pair of free throws from Amber Thompson, South Alabama scored seven straight points to push the lead to 27 at 53-26. The Jags led 55-30 after three quarters.
South Alabama led by as much as 38 in the final quarter, as they rolled to the 73-39 win.
Thompson led ULM with 17 points and six rebounds. Diamond Brooks had 10 rebounds.
Antoinette Lewis picked up her 12th double-double of the season for South Alabama with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Kennedi Centers matched a career-high with 12 points and Shaforia Kines added 12 points.
“We are looking forward to getting back to work next week and continuing to get better,” Williams said.