Samford celebrated its return to the Pete Hanna Center by standing 15 feet from the basket and shooting its way to a 73-62 Southern Conference victory over ETSU.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 at home and maintained a spot in a three-way tie for first place with Furman and UNC Greensboro. The key to Samford’s win came at the free throw stripe. The Bulldogs (16-9 overall, 10-2 SoCon) hit 26 of 33 free throws while the Bucs (9-16 overall, 5-7 SoCon) were 10 of 16. Logan Dye was 8 of 12 from the free throw line, AJ Staton-McCray was 5 of 6 and four more players were perfect from the line. Ques Glover and Bubba Parham combined to go 7 of 7.
Free throws carried plenty importance on a day that the Bulldogs struggled from the floor. Samford shot 38% overall and was 5 of 20 on 3-pointers.
Turnovers were a big advantage for Samford. The Bulldogs forced 19 turnovers and turned those into 25 points. ETSU forced 11 turnovers and scored just eight points off the miscues.
Staton-McCray led Samford with 16 points, six rebounds and five steals.
UAH 71, Mississippi College 66: The Chargers (19-6 overall, 14-5 GSC) led by 10 points at halftime and held off a second-half surge by the Choctaws (12-12 overall, 6-12 GSC). UAH stayed a game out of first place with the victory.
Chaney Johnson led the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. Max Shulman had 13 points, nine rebounds, a block and a steal in 39 minutes.
Mississippi College tied the game at 60 with 4:48 left. From that point on, the Chargers were 11 of 13 from the free throw line to secure the win.
Lee 101, Auburn Montgomery 90: Roderick Smith was outstanding for AUM (11-12 overall, 9-10 GSC) but the Warhawks couldn’t keep up the place against Lee (14-5 overall, 13-5 GSC). Smith had 32 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 fifth-year senior was 11 of 14 from the field and 10 of 13 from the free throw line.
Troy 68, Texas State 64: The Trojans snapped a three-game Sun Belt Conference losing skid behind the play of Zay Williams. The senior from Birmingham not only led the team with 18 points and seven rebounds, but he also provided the game-clinching points.
Texas State (11-14 overall, 4-8 SBC) trimmed the deficit to 66-64 with 38 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Mason Harrell. Troy (14-11 overall, 6-6 GSC) ran the shot clock down before Williams missed a layup. He grabbed the miss and was fouled. Williams went to the line and made both free throws.
South Alabama 72, Louisiana-Monroe 64: The Jaguars secured back-to-back road wins by hitting 10 free throws over the final two minutes. South Alabama led the Warkhawks (11-14 overall, 7-5 SBC) 34-25 at halftime.
Isaiah Moore had 31 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the way for South Alabama. Tyrell Jones had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. Eleven of Jones’ points came in the first half.
UNA 87, Florida Gulf Coast 85: The Eagles (14-11 overall, 4-8 ASUN) used a late surge to force overtime, but UNA regrouped to pull out the ASUN road win. The Lions (14-11 overall, 6-6 ASUN) led by as many as seven points in overtime and had to ultimately win the game at the free throw line.
FGCU tied the game with 30 seconds left in regulation on a 3-pointer. Jacari Lane got to the bucket for a layup with seven seconds left to give the Lions a 72-70 lead. The Eagles hustled down the court and Isaiah Thompson hit a jumper at the buzzer for force overtime.
Daniel Ortiz led UNA with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Lane added 18 points, six assists and six rebounds and KJ Johnson chipped in with 12 points and four assists.
Belllarmine 71, Jacksonville State 64: Fifty fouls were called and 51 free throws were shot in the Gamecocks’ road loss. Each team was whistled for 25 fouls. Jacksonville State (10-15 overall, 3-9 ASUN) was 17 of 26 from the free throw line and Bellarmine (11-14 overall, 6-6 ASUN) was 20 of 25.
Marcellus Brigham, Jr. led the Gamecocks with 16 points and five rebounds. Skyelar Potter had 14 points and nine rebounds.
Alabama A&M 82, Southern 61: The Bulldogs overwhelmed SWAC-leading Southern from opening tip to the conclusion of the game. Alabama A&M (9-14 overall, 5-5 SWAC) led by 21 points at halftime and kept the pressure up until the end.
Southern (12-11 overall, 8-2 SWAC) shot 31% from the field in the first half and committed 17 turnovers in the game. The Bulldogs had eight steals and outrebounded the Jaguars, 25-18.
Messiah Thompson had 20 points and four assists for the Bulldogs. He was 7 of 9 overall from the field and 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. Dailin Smith had 15 points and Omari Peek had 12 points in 16 minutes.
Grambling 73, Alabama State 60: TJ Madlock had 18 points and 10 rebounds but the Hornets (6-17 overall, 4-6 SWAC) couldn’t keep up with Grambling (14-8 overall, 7-3 SWAC). Roland McCoy added 16 points and Duane Posey had 14 points and four assists.
With today's 71-55 win over his first head coaching stop, Scott Sanderson picked up win #500 in his career! pic.twitter.com/wc343DGTS2— Faulkner Athletics (@FaulknerATHL) February 4, 2023
Faulkner 71, Mobile 55: Faulkner (20-4 overall, 12-5 SSAC) dominated the second half to give head coach Scott Sanderson his 500th victory as a college head coach. Sanderson, the son of former Alabama head coach Wimp Sanderson, is 500-304 in 26 college seasons.
C.J. Hines had 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Eagles. Trace Hill had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
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