Little Rock (LR) men’s basketball faded against Georgia Southern (GSU), 67-61, Thursday at the Jack Stephens Center.
The Trojans (5-18, 2-8 Sun Belt) have lost five consecutive, all by 10 points or less, and actually led by six at halftime.
“We got off to another great start,” LR head coach Wes Flanigan said. “That’s kind of been our M.O.”
GSU (16-7, 7-3) took a 41-39 lead with 12:54 remaining and while LR patched together some rallies, the Trojans could not recover.
Reserve guard Ben Marcus had a stickback to trim the deficit to 44-42 with nearly nine minutes left, but the Eagles responded. GSU’s Ike Smith nailed a short jumper as the shot clock expired to make it 48-41 with 7:30 left.
The Trojans would keep it within 10 points for the rest of the contest, but miscues doomed each LR rally.
“The second half, I don’t know what the deal is,” Flanagan said. “We just get a little frustrated, I don’t know if we get tired, lose focus, or the other team’s just doing a much better job executing.”
“We bailed them out a lot by just fouling away from the basket.”
The Eagles went 23 of 29 on free throws, and scored 19 points off LR’s 17 turnovers.
Tookie Brown of GSU was the game’s leading scorer, putting up 19 points. A pair of Eagles, Mike Hughs (14) and Quan Jackson (10), joined Brown in double digits.
Andre Jones led the Trojans with 18 points, while reserve Camron Reedus scored 11 and Oliver Black had nine along with five rebounds.
LR must turn around and face Georgia State on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center. The Panthers (17-6, 8-2 SBC) have not lost since December, riding an 8-game winning streak.