ULM (11-18, 6-12 Sun Belt) enters the tournament off a close 74-71 loss to Sun Belt West Division champion North Texas last Saturday (Feb. 27). Four Warhawks scored in double figures against the Mean Green, led by 19 points and seven rebounds from senior guard Dynile Forbes. Junior forward Rudy Turner added 14 points and junior forwards Lawrence Gilbert and Tommie Sykes each chipped in 12 points. Forbes was awarded the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Week honor following his performance against North Texas; it was the second time this season he has earned that accolade.
The Warhawks are 1-3 all-time in their history in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, the lone victory for ULM came in the first round in 2006-07 when they defeated Denver, 83-67, in Monroe.
Louisiana-Lafayette, the seventh seed in the Sun Belt Tournament, heads to Hot Springs with a record of 13-16, 10-8 in the Sun Belt. The Ragin’ Cajuns are led by Sun Belt Player of the Year Tyren Johnson who leads the league in scoring, 18.0 points per game, and is second in rebounding, 8.0 boards per contest. Chris Gradingo (14.0) and Randell Daigle (11.6) also score in double figures for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Louisiana-Lafayette enters the conference tournament on a two-game losing streak.
Louisiana-Lafayette holds a 39-20 advantage in the all-time series with ULM, including sweeping two games this year during the regular season. Both of this season’s meetings have been close however, Louisiana-Lafayette earned a 72-67 victory in Monroe on Jan. 30, and then escaped with a 73-71 victory in Lafayette on Feb. 20.
All of Saturday night’s action can be heard live in Monroe on KLIP, 105.3 FM, with Greg Gulyas calling the play-by-play.