The men’s basketball team (5-11, 1-4) could not overcome an early deficit as it fell to the University of South Alabama 66-54 Monday at College Park Center.
Head coach Chris Ogden said he didn’t have his team ready to play when it came into its matchup against the Jaguars.
“We didn’t come ready to play. That’s on me,” Ogden said. “We can’t let a team come in here on your home court and shoot 53%. You’re not gonna win a lot of games.”
The Mavericks kept things close with the Jaguars throughout the first four minutes of the first half, until South Alabama was able to pull away around the 14-minute mark.
South Alabama kept extending its lead in the period, ultimately using a 6-0 scoring run to go into the halftime break with a 33-22 advantage. In the first half, UTA went 7-26 from the field.
Sixteen of the 26 shots UTA took before halftime came from the 3-point line. Sophomore guard David Azore and freshman guard Sam Griffin, who hit one 3-pointer each in the half, were the only Mavericks to cash in from deep.
UTA made things interesting at points in the second half. Senior forward TiAndre Jackson-Young came in off the bench and provided two consecutive 3-pointers to cut South Alabama’s lead to six points with 10:05 left to play.
Jackson-Young, who finished the contest with 16 points on 6-12 shooting, said his team will regroup and focus on its next two home games against Appalachian State University and Coastal Carolina University.
South Alabama outscored UTA 12-5 in the game’s last three minutes to seal its 66-54 victory. With the loss, the Mavericks fell to 1-4 in conference play and last place in the Sun Belt Conference standings.
The men’s basketball team will host Appalachian State at 7 p.m. Thursday at College Park Center.