Checking in on the… Sun BeltPosted by rtmsf on February 26th, 2009
It’s Down to the Wire
Inching closer to Tournament Time! All but two teams have just two games remaining on their SBC schedule which will conclude tonight and this weekend. Thankfully, the West has experienced some much needed separation except for the bottom of the pack who will be in a dog fight to avoid a first round road game. In the East, the Toppers, having won against Troy in last weeks game of the week, are now seriously poised to nab the number one overall seed and possibly the whole enchilada given the next story. Which is…
UALR Tosses Leading Scorer
UALR leading scorer and pre-season all SBC pick Steven Moore was suspended from Saturday’s game at North Texas for his actions during the Western Kentucky game on Feb. 19, which included walking off the court midway through the first half. Afterwards, he got the boot for good:
“I met with Steven this morning and have decided in the best interest of our basketball team to move forward without him. We appreciate Steven’s contributions over the last three years and wish him the best going forward,” said Head Coach Steve Shields. “With us being in a race for the overall conference championship, we have a big week ahead of us with games against New Orleans and Louisiana-Lafayette. I know how excited our guys are about the challenge in front of us.”
They better be, because this could come into serious play for the SBC Tourney. At 13.6 points per game, Moore was their leading scorer. The Trojans do enjoy a comfortable advantage in the West with a comfy 4 game spread, so a first place finish there is a lock.
Toppers Land Historic Win and Go for Another
Sergio Kerusch sank 26 points and Western Kentucky defeated Florida International 79-66 on Saturday night, becoming the 14th men’s basketball program in NCAA Division I history to reach 1,600 wins. The Hilltoppers led 16-10 with 10:01 left in the first half before outscoring the Golden Panthers 20-5 until halftime. Additionally, a win over Florida Atlantic tonight will give the Hilltoppers their eighth undefeated home season in the 46-year history of E.A. Diddle Arena.
Denver Snaps 43 Game Road Loss Streak
Nate Rohnert scored 21 points, Brian Stafford had 18 and Denver beat Arkansas State 73-53 Saturday night, snapping a 43-game road losing streak dating back to March 2006. Daniel Bryant scored 15 points and JeJuan Brown had 14 for the Red Wolves who lost their seventh straight. “It’s been a long time coming, but everyone in our program knew it was coming,” head coach Joe Scott said. “This team has grown up a lot and know what it’s all about. To win by 20 and not squeak it out shows just how much they’ve grown. Everybody played well. ”
Tidbits from Around the League
- For the third straight week, Troy’s Brandon Hazzard is the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, according to a vote by the league’s 13 member institutions.
- Alex Galindo’s 3-pointer from the left baseline with 3.4 seconds remaining in regulation was the difference in FIU’s 87-86 win over Troy, in Miami.
- Adam McCoy scored 20 points off the bench and was one of six North Texas players in double figures as the Mean Green defeated Louisiana-Monroe 95-80. The Mean Green shot 58 percent from the field and scored 60 points in the second half.
- Orlando Mendez-Valdez scored 20 points, and Sergio Kerusch added 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Western Kentucky over Arkansas-Little Rock 78-69.
- C.J. Garner scored 15 points and DeAndre Coleman notched a double-double, leading South Alabama to a 63-57 win over Middle Tennessee.
- Nate Rohnert recorded 14 points, six rebounds and four assists as the University of Denver edged Louisiana-Lafayette 55-51
Wrapping It Up
A lot going on tonight and Saturday. Here is what we have left on tap to close out the 2008-09 regular season. Games with potential seeding impact in bold: