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Little Rock notches road sweep with victory in Mobile

Trojans fell behind early but rallied to get the win
Credit: little rock athletics

MOBILE, Ala. — Showing its resilience once again, Little Rock rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to register its second-straight road win, upending South Alabama 73-68 Saturday at the Mitchell Center.
Trailing by as many as 10 in the first half and 38-29 at the break, Little Rock outscored South Alabama 44-30 in the second half to improve to 9-15 on the year and 4-7 in Sun Belt Conference play.
The win came despite a sluggish start for Little Rock, which missed its first 13 three-point attempts. The Trojans shot 50% in the second half, finishing the game at 42.0% from the floor and were serviceable from the free throw line, making 16 of 23 for the game.
Rayjon Tucker just missed his second-straight double-double, finishing with 24 points and nine rebounds, complemented by a career-high 15-point performance from Kamani Johnson, who made nine of his 13 free throws while adding six rebounds.
Nikola Maric and Markquis Nowell both finished with 10 points and seven rebounds on the night for Little Rock, who was playing with a short bench on the night.  Deondre Burns scored six points, including four in the final minutes to help seal the victory.
In a first half that saw a handful of runs, it was South Alabama that came out quickly, racing out to a 12-2 lead on the Trojans. Little Rock struggled to find any type of offensive consistency in the early going, making just two of its first 11 shots from the floor.
Trailing 15-5, the Trojans finally started to get established offensively, using a 9-0 run to pull to within one at 15-14, all of which came from Johnson and Bankston. Little Rock kept pace with South Alabama until the four minute mark when a play under the basket resulted in a flagrant two foul on Bankston, resulting in his ejection.
The delay and subsequent free throws swung the momentum in South Alabama's favor as the Jaguars were able to push their lead back to nine, taking a 38-29 lead into the half. Little Rock shot just 34.6% from the floor in the first half and missed all 12 three pointers it attempted.
Little Rock was aided by South Alabama fouls early in the second half as the Jaguars picked up eight fouls within the first five minutes, helping the Trojans rally on the back of Rayjon Tucker. Tucker scored 16 of Little Rock's first 20 points through the first eight minutes of the second half, giving the Trojans their first lead of the game at 49-47 off a three-pointer at the 12 minute mark.
The Trojans were able to extend its lead to six at 60-54, only to see South Alabama rally back to tie the game at 60-60 with seven minutes remaining. That would set the tone down the stretch with Little Rock taking a six point lead at 66-60, a lead it would never relinquish.
Little Rock came up with clutch free throws in the final minutes, including a pair from Deondre Burns to ice it, as the Trojans notch their second-straight road victory and register their first conference road sweep since 2016.
The Trojans now return home for a key home stand against their rivals from Texas, beginning with red-hot UT Arlington. The Mavericks sit atop the Sun Belt standings at 8-3 and have won eight of their last nine. Opening tip against UT Arlington is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Jack Stephens Center.