Daniel Gallagos, Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications
MONTICELLO, Ark. – The Southern Arkansas men’s basketball team played perhaps its best defensive game of the year as they held No. 17-ranked Arkansas-Monticello to season lows in points (58), field goals made (22), and field goal percentage (34%). All the while, the Muleriders were solid offensively en route to picking up a 73-58 upset win on the road on Monday night as part of the Great American Conference’s “Rivalry Night”.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Early action was close with the score being tied four times and the lead changing hands that same amount over the first minutes or so of play. The final lead change during that early stretch sparked an 8-0 run by the Muleriders that gave them a seven-point lead, 19-12, with 13:18 left in the half.
- UAM answered back with a 7-0 run to knot the game at 19-all with just under nine minutes left.
- Immediately after the Boll Weevils tied the game, SAU’s Keeton Tennsion buried a three-pointer to spark what was an 11-0 run that pushed the game clock to 6:12.
- UAM’s Derylton Hill broke that run with a layup at the 5:03 mark, but the Muleriders continued to play well on both sides of the ball and with just over two minutes before the break, SAU had a 17-point lead, 40-23.
- The Boll Weevils ended the half with a mini four-point run to make it a 13-point game, 40-27.
- In the second half however, the Boll Weevils continued what they started prior to the end of the first half coming all the way back to tie the game at 42-all with 15:04 on the clock thanks to a 15-2 run to begin the second stanza.
- As he did in the first half, as soon as UAM tied the game, Tennison buried a three-pointer to keep SAU out in front.
- The Muleriders would remain in the lead until the 11:11 mark when Karim Mawuenyega hit a three of his own, giving UAM a 51-49 lead.
- On their next possession, the Boll Weevils established their largest lead of the game as a Hill layup gave UAM a four-point lead. On his lay-in however, Hill was assessed a technical foul and Tennison split the tries, but moments later Denarious Lockhart threw down a dunk to pull the Muleriders to with a point.
- The Muleriders then regained the lead for good at the 8:40 mark as a layup by De’Sean Dockery broke a 55-all tie.
- For the rest of the game, the Mulerider defense went into shutdown mode as the Boll Weevils only scored three more points total. Additionally, after UAM got to 55 points on a jumper by Hill at the 10:40 mark, the Boll Weevils missed their final 12 attempts from the field.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Coming into the game, UAM was averaging 86.9 points per game, ranking them second in the GAC and 25th in NCAA Division II. The Boll Weevils had scored at least 72 points in every game this season until they were limited to 58 against the Muleriders.
- In terms of field goal percentage, the Boll Weevils entered as the most efficient team in the GAC and ranked 14th in DII shooting an even 50% overall from the floor. On Monday, UAM had its lowest output of the season, shooting 34%. Their previous low mark was 38% against Southeastern Oklahoma on January 28.
- The Muleriders had four players in double figures with Tennison leading the way with a game-high 18 points. Most of his damage came from beyond the arc as he knocked down five to tie a career-high.
- Tennison’s remaining three points came at the free throw line where he was an uncharacteristic 3-for-6. The miss on his first attempt on the night snapped a streak of 29 consecutive made free throws. Prior to that, Tennison was 29-for-30 on the year with his lone miss coming on his first attempt of the season.
The Muleriders will remain on the road as they have a Thursday night game against Ouachita. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. inside the Bill Vining Arena.