Total chaos ensued Monday night when conference leader Georgia Southern lost its second straight conference game, and preseason favorite UT-Arlington fell to Coastal Carolina, creating a three-way tie between the Eagles, Red Wolves, and surging Georgia State.
The Red Wolves were lead by a defense that has limited 8 of 9 Sun Belt opponents to below season point averages. On Saturday, Arkansas State stifled ULM 73-63 in Monroe and stymied the Cajuns 88-69 (hee hee) on Monday in Lafayette.
The Warhawks, who earned their first conference win over Sun Belt champion Little Rock on Mayhem Monday, had a slim lead during the second half against the Red Wolves on Saturday night. But a season-high four 3-balls from 6’4″ sophomore guard Conner Kern sealed ULM’s doom.
The Cajuns, who hadn’t lost in the Cajun Dome to A-State since 2006, fell to the Red Wolves in similar fashion. Down 8 points at the beginning of the second half, McCasland called a TO with 13 minutes on the clock and must of read a passage from the Necronomicon because suddenly the Red Wolves were playing like a team possessed. At one point, the Red Wolves nailed 13 straight buckets.
The Red Wolves, led by sizzling hot shooting of Devin Carter and Deven Sims (My Two Devs) have now won five straight conference games, three on the road. Arkansas State looks to avenge their only conference losses later this week when A-State plays hosts to Coastal and Appalachian State.
Sun Belt Bedlam Reigns!
Disorder rules the Sun Belt after Coastal upended UTA, Troy trumped Georgia Southern and Georgia State slid past South Bama. This week’s Sun Belt slate not only produced a sexy three-way tie for supremacy, it opened up opportunity for Texas State and the Chanticleers as well. THERE IS NOT A MORE EXCITING HOOPS RACE IN THE G5 THAN IN THE SUN BELT!
Sun Belt Orbit, Week 4
As of this writing, the Sun Belt features two sub-100 RPI programs: UTA (74) and Arkansas State (83)
Sun Belt Standings (Jan 31)
- Arkansas State 7-2
- Georgia Southern 7-2
- Georgia State 7-2
- UT-Arlington 6-3
- Texas State 6-3
- Coastal Carolina 5-3
- Louisiana 4-5
- Troy 4-5
- Little Rock 3-6
- South Alabama 3-6
- ULM 1-8
- Appalachian State 1-8
Georgia State might be the hottest state in the Belt
With a sizzling 80-83 victory over South Bama on Mayhem Monday, the Panthers claimed a third of the Sun Belt pie by winning six straight. Jeremy Hollowell leads Georgia State in scoring, but the hot shooting of 6’3″ freshman guard D’Marcus Simonds has taken command of the team, averaging a whopping 22 points the last five games.
UT-Arlington falls to Coastal, which isn’t great
The Mavericks are supposed to be the flagship program for the season, but a Coastal Carolina loss on Mayhem Monday puts UTA’s slim at-large chances on life support.
The Bobcats have claws; will scratch
Hey, guess who went 2-0 this in Sun Belt action? Yeah, the freaking Texas State Bobcats did, and NOTHING and EVERYTHING makes sense in the Sun Belt! Texas State, picked to finish last in conference in the preseason, finds itself 6-3 after wins over Coastal Carolina (52-50) and Appalachian State (68-55). Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, 6’7″ senior forward, averaged 6.5 boards and 15 points this Sun Belt weekend.
Coastal Carolina is sitting at the adult table
Nobody really knew what to expect from Chanticleers hoops, but Double C is 5-4 with victories over Arkansas State, UTA and Sun Belt Champ Little Rock. Only a 2 point loss to Texas State on Saturday prevents Coastal from being 6-3 and a game out of first place. The Chants, just like the Bobcats and Cajuns, have the power to create misery in the Sun Belt Tournament next month.
Little Rock has hit rock bottom
This Sun Belt Weekend, Little Rock followed an 88-82 loss to the Cajuns with a humiliating 68-52 loss to ULM, perviously winless in conference. The Trojans are still without injured 6’11” senior forward Lis Shoshi and won’t likely compete without his presence in the inside.
Touching the Sun: D’Marcus Simonds
The red hot freshman for Georgia State has put the Sun Belt on notice: the Panthers have plenty of bite.
Plunging to Earth: the entire state of Louisiana
Sure, the Warhawks finally got their first conference win this weekend, but ULM and the Cajuns are a combined 5-13 in Sun Belt play. Sad!
Game to Savor: Texas State at UT-Arlington (Sat, Feb 4)
The Bobcats already have a win over the Mavericks. But now UTA gets a crack at revenge in Arlington while keeping within striking distance of conference leaders.