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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fant-Ewing Coliseum (7,085) -- Monroe, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: USA 8-6, ULM 5-5. Away Record: USA 1-10, ULM 3-9. Neutral Record: USA 0-2, ULM 0-0. Conference Record: USA 3-11, ULM 5-9. Series Record: South Alabama leads, 11-5.
GAME NOTES: The ULM Warhawks will open up their final homestand on the season on Thursday night, as they entertain the South Alabama Jaguars in a Sun Belt Conference clash at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
ULM is returning from a two-game road trip during which it went 0-2. The Warhawks have lost five of their last six games overall, and are just 8-14 on the season, which includes a 5-9 mark in Sun Belt play. They host Troy in their home finale on Saturday.
South Alabama defeated Troy, 86-78, last Saturday. The win was the second n the last three games for the Jaguars, who are still at the bottom of the conference standings (3-11), while sporting an overall record of just 9-18. They will visit Louisiana next before finishing the season with back-to-back home games.
When these teams met on Jan. 18, ULM pulled out a 64-58 victory. The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Warhawks against South Alabama, which leads the all-time series by an 11-5 margin.
Augustine Rubit posted a double-double consisting of 22 points and 10 rebounds, as five players scored in double figures in South Alabama's recent win over Troy. The Jaguars connected on 51.6 percent from the floor and outscored the Trojans, 40-24, in the paint, and 29-7 in bench points.
For most of the season, USA has struggled to hit shots consistently. The Jaguars are last in the Sun Belt in field goal percentage (.408), which has led to a rather meager scoring average (69.1 ppg). However, they clean up on the glass, leading the league in rebounding (37.9 rpg). Rubit (17.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg) carries much of the load, as he leads the team in scoring and on the glass. Antoine Allen (10.8 ppg) is the only other player on the roster averaging in double figures, but he is only connecting on 36.8 percent of his field goal attempts.
ULM's most recent outing resulted in a 72-63 loss to Western Kentucky. The Warhawks were dominated on the glass, 43-28, but they managed to outshoot the Hilltoppers, .429 to .397. Tylor Ongwae tallied a team-high 19 points in the losing effort before fouling out.
The Warhawks also struggle to put points on the board, as they are the second- lowest scoring team in the Sun Belt (65.1 ppg), while shooting just 42.8 percent from the field. Ongwae (16.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is really the only meaningful contributor on the roster, especially after Amos Olatayo (13.2 ppg) was lost for the year with a knee injury. Ongwae has scored in double figures in all but two games, including the last 14. Jayon James (9.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is the second option for the team now. He tallied 13 points against Western Kentucky.
This game isn't likely to feature a ton of scoring, so whichever team is able to find any consistency on offense will have a leg up. Rubit will be the best player on the floor, but Ongwae should be able to get more support from his teammates.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: ULM 67, South Alabama 62
02/27 10:59:51 ET
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