Saturday Scores From the Sun Belt
We aren't at the halfway point of the season quite yet, but it looks like the Sun Belt Conference is a pretty balanced league.
After Saturday's play, seven teams are within one game of first place in the loss column. There were a couple of upsets yesterday which made things even tighter. You can read Lane Johnson's account of Louisiana's win over Troy here.
Here's a recap of the other games played Saturday.
GEORGIA STATE 77, UTA 71--Georgia State moved back into a tie for first place as Jeff Thomas scored 27 points and hit 5-6 from three point range in the Panthers' victory. Georgia State (15-6, 6-2 Sun Belt) jumped out to a big lead early, but UTA (9-12, 5-3) came back to take a four point lead in the second half. Georgia State's three point shooting (7-10 in the second half) enabled them to come back and get the win. UTA, which had their five game winning streak snapped, was led by Brian Warren with 19 points, while Edric Dennis had 16 points and ten rebounds.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 74, TEXAS STATE 58--Tookie Brown led three scorers in double figures and Georgia Southern used a pair of runs in the second half to get the win. Freshman Elijah McCadden had 15 points and Montae Glenn added a double double as the Eagles (13-8, 5-3) snapped Texas State's five game winning streak. The Bobcats (17-4, 6-2) were led by Tre' Nottingham's 25 points. Georgia Southern's second run gave the Eagles at 69-49 lead. The Eagles outscored Texas State 21-5 at the free throw line.
SOUTH ALABAMA 78, ULM 72--Trhae Mitchell scored 23 points and Josh Ajayi added 19 as South Alabama (10-11, 3-5) snapped a five game losing streak. The Jaguars won the game with their inside play, outscoring ULM (11-8, 4-3) 42-22 in the paint. The Jaguars outscored the Warhawks 7-0 down the stretch in the final minutes to take a lead they would not relinquish. Daishon Smith had 19 points and Travis Munnings added 15 for the Warhawks, who made only 12 two point field goals in the contest.
APPALACHIAN STATE 77, LITTLE ROCK 73--The Mountaineers (6-14, 1-6 Sun Belt) snapped a six game losing streak and notched their first league win by forcing 21 turnovers and getting a huge advantage in points off turnovers, 23-4. Ronshad Shabazz had 21 points for App State, while Justin Forrest added 18. Little Rock (7-14, 3-5) trailed by 12 with under four minutes left before a furious comeback. Marquis Nowell and Rayjon Tucker combined for 39 points for the Trojans.
COASTAL CAROLINA 77, ARKANSAS STATE 64--Zac Cuthbertson and DeVante Jones each scored 16 points as the Chanticleers (10-9, 4-3) won their third straight game. Coastal roared out to a 40-27 lead and Arkansas State (9-11, 3-5) got no closer than seven points in the second half. Tristan Walley was the only player in double digits with 14 points. Ty Cockfield, who entered the game as the league's leading scorer, was held to just six points.
THURSDAY'S GAMES: ULM at Coastal Carolina, Louisiana at Appalachian State
SATURDAY'S GAMES; ULM at Appalachian State, Louisiana at Coastal Carolina, Troy at South Alabama, Arkansas State at Little Rock, Georgia Southern at Georgia State, UTA at Texas State.