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January 12, 2009

Warhawk Basketball Weekly

The Warhawks (5-11, 1-4) will fight on deeper into Sun Belt Conference play this week, as they will travel to Jonesboro, Ark to face the Red Hot Red Wolves, before returning to the friendly confines of Fant-Ewing Coliseum for a Saturday 3pm televised game versus Troy.

Last week began with a rocky performance versus South Alabama. After a back and forth first half, ULM's shooting went ice cold as they were blown out at home 90-57. ULM ended the first half without a basket for the final three minutes, and didn't get another until the 15:35 mark of the second half.

When the final horn sounded, the Warhawk's had many of their streaks broken, including the eight consecutive double-digit scoring of Rudy Turner. The lone surviving streak was from Lawrence Gilbert, who connected on a three point shot at the 14:11 mark of the opening half, marking the ninth consecutive game to do so for him.

"They just came in here and flat out beat us," ULM Head Coach Orlando Early said of the Jaguar's performance. "They are known for defending and rebounding and that's what they did to us."

In the game the Jaguars out rebounded the Warhawks 38 - 27, and held ULM to just eight points in the paint.

The week closed out in Denver for a Western Divisional showdown. Similar to the USA game, the Warhawks took a solid first half performance into the intermission before a second half cold streak doomed them in a 58-47 loss. The continued the ULM road losing streak, as it was extended to 13 straight games.

ULM turned the ball over only 11 times, but Denver made them pay for each turnover, as they converted the turnovers into 21 points. Turner rebounded from his previous game's performance to pour in 16 points and eight rebounds. Only five Warhawks scored in the game, Turner, Gilbert, Jarvis Hill, and Kenneth Averette. Gilbert did connect on the three point shot to continue his consecutive made three pointer streak.

"I think we did some good things, the unfortunate thing in our program the way we've been the last four years, when play Denver, you need some experience out there," Coach Early said. "Nobody except Afam Nweke has any Denver experience, and they're pretty good, their record just doesn't show it. I think that we are a good team too, but our record just doesn't show it."

Thursday night will start the game week for the Warhawks, as they prepare to take on Arkansas State (11-5, 3-2). The Red Wolves are playing well this season, under first year head coach John Brady. Leading the on the court performance for the Red Wolves is Donald Boone who is the team's leading scorer, averaging 14.2 ppg, 20 points per game in their five conference games.

Arkansas State is a perfect 7-0 this season at home.

ULM will get some TV exposure in the Sun Belt Conference's weekly televised contest against Troy at 3pm. The Trojans find themselves in the thick of the Eastern Division race, as they sit at 7-10, 2-3. Juniors Richard Delk and Brandon Hazzard lead the Trojans in scoring, averaging 13 ppg each. Delk, a Mississippi State transfer, is also one of the team's leading rebounders, averaging five per game.

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