By: Santeria Evans | Sports Editor
On Feb. 26, at the Mitchell Center, the South Alabama Jaguars Men’s basketball team hosted the Georgia State Panthers and were defeated.
The Jaguars were on an eight-game win streak, four home and four away, and they had control of the top spot in the Sun Belt East division. Under head coach Richie Riley, the Jaguars won 17 of 21 games played in February. Senior Micheal Flowers has been in the top 10 for scoring in Division I all season and posts 497 points before the game on Friday night.
During the first half, both teams fought for the lead. The Jaguars held on and led the first half 40-39. Senior Kayo Goncalves sped up the game by shooting three three-pointers back to back for the Jaguars. Leading scorers for the first half included Micheal Flowers with 32 points and four assists and behind him was Kayo Goncalves with 19 points and two assists.
Sophomore Tyreke Locure forced a turnover with just under three seconds remaining but couldn’t tie the game.
The second half of the game was a fight for the Jaguars. They were defeated by the Panthers 81-84. This loss breaks the eight-game win streak for the Jaguars.
Coach Riley stated that the effort was not there, resulting in the loss.
“Just a disappointing effort on our part, they deserve to win the game,” said Riley.
On Feb. 27, the Jaguars hosted the Panthers again and also honored senior Michael Flowers. Flowers now sits at 541 points on the season.
In the first half of the game, the Jaguars had a slow start. The Panthers had an 18 point lead, and the Jaguars ultimately came up short and ended the first half 31-40. Junior John Pettway led the Jaguars with 11 points and one assist, and behind him was Flowers with seven points and three assists and freshman Jamal West with six points and one assist.
In the second half of the game, the Jaguars began to pick up the pace and gain control of the ball.
With 52.5 seconds on the clock, the game became more intense as the Jaguars began to catch up with 70-79 on the board. The Jaguars again came up short and were overcome by the Panthers with the final score of 73-82.
Pettway put up 19 points in the second half with one assist and set a new career-high, scoring 30 points altogether, while West produced eight points totaling 14 points and one assist.
The men’s basketball team finished third in the Sun Belt East and played the most conference games of any team in the Sun Belt this year, and only had one Covid-19 related schedule change.
Next, the Jaguars will head to the Sun Belt Tournament with the official seeding to be released by the Sun Belt Conference Sunday. As it currently stands, the Jaguars will play in the Friday 5:30 p.m. game against ULM in Pensacola, Fla.