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January 27, 2009

Yahoo! Sports looks at the Warhawks

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It took 20 games, but the Warhawks finally have a winning streak about which to boast.

After a wild 94-88 victory at Florida Atlantic on Jan. 22, Louisiana-Monroe came home on Jan. 24 to knock off another weak Sunshine State school, taking down Florida International 81-64.

Dynile Forbes came off the bench to score 21 points for the Warhawks, who led by 13 at halftime and then dominated FIU on the glass in the second half with a 22-7 advantage. Louisiana-Monroe shot 49 percent from the floor and committed just eight turnovers.

"Through out practice this week, Coach (Early) told me to stay aggressive, and when I hit that first three in the first half, I just stayed at it," Junior Guard Kenny Averette said.

Averette was one reason the aggression level stayed high. The point guard added 14 points and five assists in his 31 minutes. More important, he committed no turnovers.

While neither opponent last week was that strong, winning two in a row and winning the second game decisively indicates ULM is playing hard and might have the talent to bother higher-echelon Sun Belt teams down the stretch.

 

Notes, Quotes

• F Afam Nweke enjoyed two excellent games off the bench. After a 16-point, seven-rebound effort at Florida Atlantic, he nailed Florida International with 15 points and six rebounds on Jan. 24 in 26 minutes.

• G Dynile Forbes came off the bench to score 19 points against Florida Atlantic and a team-high 21 against Florida International.

 

Quote To Note: 

  "I felt like that was the most complete game we played the entire year, from tip to finish."—Coach Orlando Early after an 81-64 win over Florida International on Jan. 24.

 

Strategy And Personnel

Perhaps the major reason that ULM has played well the last three games is that it's cut down on turnovers. After averaging 16.5 turnovers in its first 17 games, the Warhawks have averaged 8.7 in its last three.

Part of the reason for that improvement is playing a three-guard lineup most of the time.

Player Rotation:

Starters

F Lawrence Gilbert

F Malcolm Thomas

C Rudy Turner

G Kenneth Averette

G Jarvis Hill

Key subs

G Dynile Forbes

F Afam Nweke.

 

Game Review:  

Troy 71, Louisiana-Monroe 70

Louisiana-Monroe 94, Florida Atlantic 88

Louisiana-Monroe 81, Florida International 64

 

Upcoming Games:

at Middle Tennessee, Saturday, Jan. 31

vs. Western Kentucky, Thursday, Feb. 5

at New Orleans, Saturday, Feb. 7

 

In Focus: 

Following a midweek bye, ULM returns to action Jan. 31 with a game at Middle Tennessee. The Warhawks will continue to try to take care of the ball against a physical defense. Defensively, ULM must always be aware of the Blue Raiders' Desmond Yates, one of the conference's leading scorers.

 

Roster Report:  

• C Rudy Turner had his way inside with guard-oriented Florida Atlantic on Jan. 22, posting 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Warhawks' 94-88 win.

• G Malcolm Thomas added to his team-high scoring totals with a 17-point effort against Florida International. Thomas canned three 3s in that game, as well as in the victory at Florida Atlantic.

• F Lawrence Gilbert had 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots at Florida Atlantic, but he contributed only five points and four rebounds in 19 minutes against Florida International.



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