Fifth-year senior guard Tony Hooper scored a team-high 18 points as the ULM men's basketball team earned an 82-66 victory over Alcorn State on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 15) at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. Junior forward Tommie Sykes added 16 and junior forward Lawrence Gilbert chipped in 14 points as ULM picked up its first victory of the season.
ULM never trailed in the contest but saw its double-digit lead cut to just six midway through the second half before a late Warhawks charge put the game out of reach. The two teams combined for 48 turnovers and 61 free throw attempts in the contest.
The Warhawks jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the opening 75 seconds of the contest, all five points coming via free throws by Hooper. Following a basket by Alcorn State, ULM went on a 13-4 run over the next five minutes, stretching its advantage to 18-6. Senior guard Dynile Forbes scored five during the burst for the Warhawks on a layup and a triple.
ULM's advantage reached 27-14 with 7:53 to play on a put back by redshirt freshman center Rory Burt, but the Braves trimmed the Warhawks lead back to eight, 29-21 with six minutes to play before the intermission. With 1:39 to play before the break, Gilbert buried his third triple of the half to give ULM a 47-30 lead, its largest lead of the half.
Warhawks took a 49-35 lead into the locker room, Gilbert led all scorers with 11 points in the first half, Sykes added 10, including a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. All 10 players dressed for the Warhawks played and scored in the opening 20 minutes.
ULM shot 51.6 percent from the field (16-of-31) in the first half and forced Alcorn State into 16 turnovers.
Gilbert made his fourth trifecta of the game to open the second half, but Alcorn State responded with a 9-0 run, cutting the ULM lead to 52-44 five minutes into the second half before junior guard Warren Fuselier hit a floater in the lane to stop the run.
Another 8-0 run by the Braves trimmed ULM's lead to just six, 62-56, with 10:47 to play until Hooper answered for the Warhawks with a runner.
Hooper's runner sparked an 18-2 spurt for ULM that pushed the lead to 80-60 with just over four minutes to play in the contest. The Warhawks held Alcorn State without a field goal for over five minutes during that stretch.
JeMarkus Holt of Alcorn State led all scorers with 19 points and also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, Ian Francis added 15 for the Braves.
The Warhawks will return to action on Tuesday night (Nov. 17) as they travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners, game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.