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SAU Tech loses a tough one 72-64 to SouthArk

by Michael Hanich | January 28, 2023 at 6:35 p.m.
Photo By: Michael Hanich SAU Tech guard Sterling Blakely passes the ball in the game against SouthArk.

The SAU Tech Men's Rockets looked to build off the momentum of the 68-48 win over National Park College last Saturday as they went back on the road to take on the SouthArk Stars in El Dorado on Thurday, Jan. 26. The Rockets had the momentum, the better record, and the overall talent, but that was invaluable when it came to the Stars' home presence. SAU Tech was also going into the game without their star offensive player sophomore guard Allen Taylor. Despite some push in the second half, the Rockets would lose a tough game on the road to the Stars 72-64.

The Rockets started the game shooting 3-of-7 with two shots coming from the three-point arc. Before long, the Stars would create a hot shooting streak by making seven of eight after their first eight missed attempts. The Rockets were getting to the free-throw line in the first half, but they were not as efficient as they have been in earlier conference games. SAU Tech was 7-of-14 at the free-throw line.

SouthArk led 17-9 with 12:33 left in the first quarter as visible frustrations were setting in for the Rockets' players. Turnovers became a significant problem for both teams as they each turned the ball over nine times in the first half. SouthArk took a 39-32 lead going into halftime as the Stars were 17-of-32 in field goals. The Rockets shot 9-of-29 in field goals and 4-of-14 from the three-point arc.

After halftime, there was more urgency from the Rockets as that urgency turned into some key plays at the beginning of the second half. The Rockets were able to account for some key steals to beat the Stars in transition. Rockets sophomore guard Kon Chol was the player who stepped offensively without Allen in the lineup as he made some critical three-pointers to help tie the game several times.

Late in the game, the Stars had a big push as they made their last five baskets which resulted in 11 points. With the Rockets down and desperate to tie the game, SAU Tech's last 10 shot attempts were behind the three-point arc. There were able to make three of their first five attempts but proceeded to miss their last five.

The Rockets had a rough offensive performance without Allen providing his consistent shooting and passing around the court. SAU Tech shot 19-of-56 in field goals, 9-of-34 from the three-point arc, and 11-of-20 from the free-throw line. The Stars shot 26-of-67 in field goals (41.8%) and were 11-of-14 at the free-throw line.

Freshman guard Phil March led the Rockets in points scored with 11. Freshman guard Sterling Blakely accounted for 10 points shooting 3-of-8 in field goals and 3-of-6 from the three-point arc. Sophomore forward Christian Blair accounted for 10 points, six rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.

Print Headline: SAU Tech loses a tough one 72-64 to SouthArk


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