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Author Topic: Cold Second Half Shooting Costs Trojans, 72-62  (Read 63 times)

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Cold Second Half Shooting Costs Trojans, 72-62
« on: January 27, 2018, 06:08:17 pm »

CONWAY, S.C. Cold second half shooting once again proved to be Little Rock's undoing as the Trojans drop a 72-62 decision at Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Trojans to 5-17 on the year and 2-7 in Sun Belt Conference play.

After shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half, Little Rock made just eight of its 29 second half attempts (27.6 percent), finishing the game 21-of-55 (38.2 percent). Little Rock did tie a season-high with 12 three-pointers made on 30 attempts (40.0 percent), also tying its season-best, while connecting on eight of 15 free throw attempts (53.3 percent).

Ryan Pippins led the way offensively for the Trojans, tying his career-high with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, going 5-of-8 from three-point range. Andre Jones added 12 points and six rebounds for his sixth-straight game finishing in double figures.

All 10 Trojans that played Saturday at the HTC Center registered at least one point as Cameron Corcoran finished with nine points off the bench, connecting on three of his six three-point attempts. Jaizec Lottie added seven points with Camron Reedus finishing with six for Little Rock.

Kris Bankston matched Jones for the team-high with six rebounds on the afternoon but registered just one point in 18 minutes before fouling out. K.J. Gilmore came off the bench to contribute five points and a career-best four assists for Little Rock.

A back-and-forth affair for the first 30 minutes, the two teams combined for five ties and 11 lead changes. The Chanticleers outscored the Trojans 38-24 in the paint as Little Rock was outrebounded 37-29. Coastal Carolina finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor (24-of-48), making 11-of-21 shots, including all three three-point attempts, while converting 12 of its 19 free throws in the second half to pull away.

Little Rock was feeling its touch from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes as 16 of the Trojans' 26 first half attempts were from beyond the arc. Little Rock connected on seven of those attempts, led by three from Pippins and a pair from Reedus.

Neither team was able to break out to a sizable lead in the early going as the Trojans' six-point advantage at 27-21 was the most as the two teams combined for five ties and eight lead changes in the opening half. Little Rock's lead could have extended more but the Trojans hit just two of six free throw attempts, leading to the 35-35 tie at the half.

Coming out of the locker room, Coastal Carolina scored six of the first eight points of the second half to take control 41-37, a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The Chanticleers permitted the Trojans to hit just one of their first nine field goals of the second as Little Rock found itself trailing by 10 at 57-47 with eight minutes to play.

The Trojans were able to trim the lead to six at 57-51 with 6:37 to play, but a 12-3 run by Coastal over the next four minutes gave the Chanticleers a commanding 69-54 lead to put the game out of reach as Little Rock dropped its 13th-straight game away from the Jack Stephens Center.

Little Rock remains winless against Coastal Carolina, dropping all three games against the Chanticleers since they joined the Sun Belt last season. The Trojans are now 1-6 all-time against teams from the state of South Carolina, including an 0-3 mark in game played in the Palmetto State.

Amidou Bamba led all scorers with 18 points for Coastal Carolina off the bench, including 11 in the first half. Jaylen Shaw finished with 13 points and eight assists for the Chanticleers with Ajay Sanders adding 11 points and five rebounds.

Little Rock now opens the crucial month of February with a pair of games at the Jack Stephens Center, facing the league's two Georgia schools. First up is a meeting with Georgia Southern on Thursday, February 1, as the Trojans look for a little payback for the buzzer-beating loss to the Eagles in Statesboro back on January 6. Tip against Georgia Southern is scheduled for approximately 7:15 pm.

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