South Alabama (10-8) at Arkansas-Little Rock (8-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 26th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jack Stephens Center (5,600) -- Little Rock, Arkansas. Television: None. Home Record: South Alabama 5-5, Arkansas-Little Rock 4-5. Away Record: South Alabama 4-3, Arkansas-Little Rock 4-7. Neutral Record: South Alabama 1-0, Arkansas-Little Rock 0-1. Conference Record: South Alabama 2-5, Arkansas-Little Rock 5-2. Series Record: South Alabama leads, 23-13.
GAMES NOTES: Arkansas-Little Rock will host South Alabama in a Sun Belt conference clash from the Jack Stephens Center this evening.
South Alabama was 8-3 in non-conference play and entered league play looking as if it was poised to be a competitive squad in the Sun Belt. Unfortunately the Jaguars have managed just a 2-5 record and are tied for third place with three other teams in the East Division. The Jaguars have lost two straight games and will have a two-game homestand with dates against Troy and Florida Atlantic following this contest.
Arkansas-Little Rock is opposite of South Alabama as the Trojans went just 3-11 in non-conference play but are currently tied for first in the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference with a 5-2 record, bringing its overall record to 8-13. The Trojans have lost two straight after winning five of six games.
South Alabama took both regular season meetings last year but it was Arkansas- Little Rock that had the upper hand in the conference tournament. Overall South Alabama leads the all-time series, 23-13.
It was the lowest scoring game of the season for South Alabama when the Jaguars suffered a 68-47 loss at home to Middle Tennessee in its most recent matchup. Although not a particularly high-scoring team, putting in just 64.9 points per game, the Jaguars were held to less than 50 points for the first time this season. South Alabama shot just 26.3 percent from the floor and couldn't get a rhythm going from beyond the arc, hitting on just 3- of-12 three point attempts. The team's two leading scorers, Augustine Rubit and Freddie Goldstein were both held in check, scoring nine points combined. Rubit, a forward, (14.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg) is the fourth leading scorer in the conference as well as its best rebounder. Goldstein, a junior guard, adds 10.8 ppg and 2.4 apg to the cause. Freshman guard Mychal Ammons (7.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) was the only player to find any success in terms of offense in the recent loss, as he scored a team-high 13 points. After scoring in double figures only four times in the previous 16 games, Ammons has done so in back-to-back games.
Arkansas-Little Rock struggled on offense in its last two games, both losses, scoring 51.0 points per game in the two contests. Scoring has been a problem for the Trojans all season as they put in just 61.4 points per game which is the second worst mark in the conference. Luckily, Arkansas-Little Rock has been able to stay in games by limiting its opponents to just 64.3 points per game (second in the Sun Belt). Senior guard D'Andre Williams (11.3 ppg, 4.0 apg) is the top scorer. Williams had 16 points in the most recent loss. Sophomores Will Neighbour (10.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Chuck Guy (10.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg) are the other scorers averaging in double digits.
Arkansas-Little Rock is off to a good start in conference play despite on paper not being a particularly strong team. Without an inside presence for UALR, South Alabama's Rubit should be able to bounce back and put in enough points to bring the Trojans down.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Alabama 69, Arkansas-Little Rock 64
01/26 10:37:24 ET