Warhawks use hot shooting in first half to beat SFA

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Score: ULM 77 – Stephen F. Austin 72
Teams: ULM (2-4, 0-0 SBC), Stephen F. Austin (2-2, 0-0 Southland)
Location: Fant-Ewing Coliseum/Monroe, La.

Monroe, La. – The ULM men’s basketball team used a red-hot shooting first half from senior Nick Coppola in route to a 77-72 victory Monday night against Stephen F. Austin. Coppola shot six-of-seven from the floor and made all three of his three-point baskets as part of his 17-point first half.

-ULM shot 56.3 percent from the floor in the first half – a season-best mark for shooting in a half – to jump out to a 44-27 lead at the break and went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 33 seconds for the five-point victory Monday.

-Coppola paced the Warhawks with a season-best 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, adding three baskets from beyond the arc. With his 19 points Monday, Coppola moves to within 15 points of the 1,000 mark in his career.
-Marvin Jean-Pierre came off the bench and gave the Warhawks a spark with 16 points while making 6-of-10 free throws, including a 4-for-4 mark in the final 30 seconds.
-The Warhawks controlled the scoreboard throughout most of the contest as the two teams were even up until the 17:56 mark of the first half when Sam McDaniel hit a jumper and gave the Warhawks a 5-3 lead which they would never look back. The Warhawks led in the contest by as much as 20 early in the second half.
-ULM finished the night shooting 49.2 percent from the floor (29-of-59) and hit five of its 15 three-point attempts. Stephen F. Austin finished the game at 43.1 percent shooting (22-of-51) and hit 12 of its 28 three-point attempts.
-The Warhawks continued their strong performance on the offensive glass with their third straight game with 12 or more offensive rebounds, led by Jean-Pierre’s three offensive rebounds. In five of their first six games, the Warhawks have had at least 12 offensive rebounds with a season-high 17 coming against Texas.
-The Warhawks had a distinct advantage in the specialty stats Monday as they had a 40-16 advantage on points in the paint and a 21-11 advantage on points off turnovers. ULM also had 26 points off the bench, led by Jean-Pierre’s 16.
-ULM and Stephen F. Austin met for the 51st time on Monday night as the Warhawks improved to 31-20 all-time and 16-7 inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum in the series.

Head Coach Keith Richard
Thought on the game: Im proud of our guys to get this win against a good program tonight. It was a tale of two halves – we played a tremendous first half and then they made adjustments at break and started to defend Nick Coppola differently which changed the game a little bit. It was a good learning experience for us to hold on with pressure free throws down the stretch while having to defend in late game situations. We struggled in some aspects of it but some we did okay in. I thought Marvin Jean-Pierre played well tonight, as did Marcus Washington. We got a lot of production tonight out of our two-guard position on the floor and if we can continue that going forward that can only help us as a team.
Senior Guard Nick Coppola
Early game success: It was what we worked on in practice and coming out we were prepared for the way which they defended. It felt great to get an early lead. It was our preparation and I was able to keep the ball in my hands early to get our offense going tonight.

-Following Monday night’s win, the Warhawks travel to Chattanooga, Tenn. to face Chattanooga on Saturday. ULM will do battle with the Mocs at 1:00 p.m. CST on Saturday in Tennessee.

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