ALEXANDRIA—Hot shooting by Texas A&M-Texarkana dooms No. 20 LSUA 88-78 in the final regular season game at The Fort on Thursday night.
The Eagles shot 53.7 percent, including 58.6 percent in the first half to take control of the game.
LSUA (16-3 overall, 4-1 RRAC) dropped its first game in conference play and saw its 15-game winning streak snapped. The Generals are now tied with Texas A&M-Texarkana and LSU-Shreveport in the loss column in RRAC play with three games to play.
The Generals fell behind early due to shooting struggles, as the home team hit just three of its first 17 attempts, as TAMUT built a 21-13 advantage 11 minutes into the opening half, and it was an uphill climb the rest of the game.
“We came out flat,” Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro said. “I guess we didn’t get back from the Shreveport win. We were still soaking in that and we couldn’t get that out of our system. We didn’t come with an edge today.”
TAMUT (10-1, 5-1) had a 7-0 spurt to break a 30-30 tie and the Eagles led for the remainder of the contest. Kobe Powell scored four of his game-high and season-high 28 points during the run. Powell grabbed 10 rebounds as well, recording his first double-double of the season.
LSUA cut the deficit to four, but Powell made a 3-pointer and another bucket to give the Eagles a 45-36 lead at intermission.
LSUA made a bit of a run in the second half, but TAMUT always had an answer. A triple by Connor Ouellette improved the Eagles advantage to 11 at 67-56. Just when the Eagles were gaining distance and tried to run away and hide, the Generals fought back.
LSUA embarked on a 9-0 run to climb right back in on the strength of five free throw makes in as many attempts. Sophomore Nashaun Ellis had four of his nine points during the run.
One of the key points of the game was a questionable charge call on Jevon Berry. With the Generals down 67-65, Berry drove the lane and contorted his body to avoid the charge and made the basket, but the junior was charged with the offensive foul.
On the next possession, Greg Holloway scored a bucket in the paint to give TAMUT a four-point lead and the Eagles kept the Generals at arm’s length the remainder of the contest, never leading by fewer than three points.
Following a Rodney Munson bucket to cut it to 70-67, the Eagles put the clamps down defensively. The second-ranked defense in the country in terms of points per game held the Generals without a bucket for nearly five minutes, an 11-4 run to make it 81-71 with 2:17 left and essentially end any hope of an LSUA comeback.
Munson led the Generals with 17, while Berry had 16 points with a team-high six assists and Jakemin Abney was right behind them with 15.
Outside of Powell’s 28, Connor Ouellette was the only other Eagle in double figures with 14.
LSUA aims for revenge Saturday afternoon when the Generals head to Texarkana for a rematch at 4 p.m.
“It’s a quick turnaround,” Cordaro said. “Hopefully we can find a way to be better defensively and have a better fight from the beginning.”