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Jayon James
Courtesy: Jeremy Stevens / ulmwarhawks.com

Men's Basketball Hosts FIU at 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Release: 02/27/2013
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Setting the Stage
FIU (15-12, 10-8 SBC) at ULM (4-20, 3-15 SBC)
Date
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013
Time 7:30 p.m. (CT)
Location Monroe, La. | Fant-Ewing Coliseum (7,000)
TV/Live Video
Warhawks All-Access
Radio/Live Audio
105.3 (Monroe) | ulmwarhawks.com
Internet Live Stats | Twitter: @ULMWarhawks #WarhawkMBB
Game Info
Game Notes (PDF)

GAME BASICS
ULM (4-20, 3-15 SBC) begins the final week of the regular season by hosting FIU (15-12, 10-8 SBC) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The Warhawks are coming off a loss at Middle Tennessee on Saturday while the Panthers won their second straight with a 65-52 victory over UALR last Thursday. The game will follow the ULM-FIU women's game, which tips off at 5:15 p.m. Doubleheader tickets can be purchased for $5, $10 and $12 by contacting the ULM Ticket Office.

Thursday's contest can be heard locally on KLIP 105.3 FM in Monroe or online at ulmwarhawks.com, with Nick White calling the action. Live video is also available on Warhawks All-Access.

LAST GAME: MIDDLE TENNESSEE RECAP
Middle Tennessee rolled to its 14th straight victory with an 87-46 victory over ULM on Saturday inside the Murphy Center. It marked the Warhawks' largest setback since a 108-70 loss at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 29, 2008.

The Warhawks shot 27.3 percent from the field in the first half as the Blue Raiders raced to a 46-15 lead at the break. Middle Tennessee led by as many as 51 points in the second half before ULM used a 14-4 run in the final minutes. The Warhawks finished the game shooting 37.2 percent from the field.

Junior guard Amos Olatayo was the only ULM player to score in double figures with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 25 minutes. It was the fifth straight game that Olatayo has scored in double-digits and the 14th time overall this season.

Sophomore Trey Lindsey added nine points, three rebounds and three assists in a career-high 37 minutes of action.

ULM TRENDS
ULM is 11th in the Sun Belt in scoring offense with an average of 60.0 points per game. The Warhawks rank fourth in the conference in field-goal percentage (.428), third in 3-point percentage (.353) and and 11th in free-throw percentage (.581). ULM also ranks second in the conference in assists per game (13.3), fifth in steals per game (7.1) and seventh in 3-point makes per game (6.0).

ULM has had a balanced scoring attack this season with six players averaging at least 6.0 points per game. Eight different ULM players have scored in double-digits at least once this season and four different players have registered at least 20 points in a game.

Junior Amos Olatayo leads the team and ranks fourth in the Sun Belt in scoring with 15.9 points in just 31.2 minutes per game. Olatayo has scored in double figures a team-leading 14 times and he has registered 20 or more points eight times this season. Olatayo ranks 14th in the Sun Belt in field-goal percentage (.465). The Alief, Texas, native is averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 47.8 percent (99-of-207) from the field and 57.8 percent (48-of-83) from the free-throw line over ULM's last 15 games.

Junior Jayon James averages 9.5 points and ranks second in the Sun Belt and 63rd nationally with 5.0 assists per game this season. James (6-6) is tied with Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse as the tallest player in the country to average at least 5.0 assists per game. James also ranks 13th in the Sun Belt in rebounds per game (5.8) and fifth in assist-turnover ratio (1.0). He has recorded double-digit assists in two games this season, including a career-high 15 at FIU on Feb. 2. With 120 on the season, James needs eight more assists to move into sole possession of 10th place on ULM's single-season list. 

Sophomore Trent Mackey leads the Sun Belt and ranks 18th nationally in 3-point percentage (.434). He also ranks third in the conference and 50th nationally with an average of 2.63 3-point makes per game. Mackey became just the 17th player in school history to reach 100 career 3-point makes on Feb. 16 against Arkansas State. He is just five 3-point makes shy of passing Anthony Jones for 10th place on ULM's single-season list and 17 makes away from moving into the top 10 on the school's career list.

Junior R.J. McCray has started 23 straight games at the point guard position for ULM and is averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 assists per game this season. McCray has scored in double-digits eight times this season after notching double figures just three times in his first two seasons with the Warhawks. McCray also has eight games with at least four assists this season.

Junior Millaun Brown has started in 22 of ULM's 24 games this season and is averaging 6.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Brown has scored in double-digits on four occasions this season, including a career-high 21 points against North Texas on Feb. 14. Brown pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds last Thursday against Western Kentucky.

The Warhawks do not have a regular starter back from last season and returned just 28 percent of their scoring and 24 percent of their rebounding from a season ago.


DOUBLE-DOUBLE TRACKER

Jayon James
ranks sixth in the Sun Belt and 141st nationally with five double-doubles this season. He is the only ULM player to record a double-double this season.

James' five double-doubles have come against Southeastern Louisiana (10 pts and 12 rbs), Southern (11 pts and 11 rbs), Florida Atlantic (26 pts and 10 rbs), North Texas (19 pts and 10 rbs) and FIU (11 pts and 15 assts).

JAMES MOVING UP SINGLE-SEASON ASSISTS LIST

Junior Jayon James continues to climb the ULM single-season assists list as he is alone in 12th place with 120 on the season.  The Paterson, N.J., native is just eight assists away from passing Bob Carson for 10th in school history in single-season assists with at least three games remaining this season.

      PLAYER               SEASON G    AVG ASSTS

5.   Keith Johnson       1991-92   29      5.1     149

6.   Larry Saulters        1968-69   21      7.0     147

7.   Jamie Mayo          1977-78   27      5.0     135

8.   Keith Johnson       1992-93   31      4.3     133

9.   Jamie Mayo          1978-79   29      4.5     130

10. Bob Carson          1970-71   22      5.8     127

12. Jayon James        2012-13   23      5.2     120

MACKEY CLIMBING SINGLE-SEASON AND CAREER 3-POINTERS LIST
Sophomore Trent Mackey has already solidified himself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference this season, and now he is closing in on one of the best seasons in school history. With 63 3-point makes this season, Mackey is tied for13th place on ULM's single-season list. He needs five more 3s this season to pass Anthony Jones (1990-91) and move into the top 10.

Mackey is also closing in on the school's top 10 list for career 3-pointers in just two seasons. Mackey became the 17th player in school history to reach 100 career 3s on Feb. 16 against Arkansas State. He is 17 3-point makes away from tying Brian Lubeck (1999-02) for 10th place on ULM's career list.

PREVIEWING FIU
FIU enters play Thursday winners of two straight games following a 65-52 victory over UALR on Feb. 21. The Panthers are in third place in the Sun Belt's East Division with a conference record of 10-8. FIU is third in the conference in scoring offense (70.0 ppg) and ninth in scoring defense (70.3 ppg). The Panthers are shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 33.9 percent from 3-point range and 70.6 percent in free-throw percentage.

Junior Tymell Murphy leads the Panthers and ranks sixth in the Sun Belt in scoring with 15.3 points per game. Murphy also ranks ninth in rebounds per game (7.1) and he leads the conference in field-goal percentage (.592). Junior Malik Smith is the Sun Belt's 11th leading scorer with 13.5 points per game and freshman Jerome Frink contributes 10.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the Panthers. Sophomore Deric Hill is eighth in the Sun Belt in assists per game (2.9) and second in steals per game (2.1).

• Richard Pitino, the son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, is in his first season as the head coach at FIU. Prior to accepting the job at FIU, Pitino served under his father as an assistant coach at Louisville. Pitino has also served as an assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan and Duquesne under Ron Everhart.

ULM-FIU SERIES
ULM is 4-3 all-time against FIU, but the Panthers have won two of the past meetings. FIU rallied in the final minute for a 76-73 victory over ULM back on Feb. 2 in Miami. The Panthers also won the last meeting in Monroe, 73-72, on Jan. 2, 2011. The series has historically been close as all seven meetings between the two teams have been decided by eight points or less.

LAST MEETING AGAINST FIU (FEB. 2, 2013)
FIU rallied in the final minute for a 76-73 victory over ULM on Feb. 2 inside U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami. The Warhawks led 73-71 following a transition layup from Amos Olatayo with just over a minute to play, but FIU responded with a three-point play by Malik Smith with 19 seconds remaining and a pair of free throws from Deric Hill with seven seconds remaining to earn the win.

The Warhawks shot 70.4 percent (19-of-27) from the field in the second half to overcome a six-point halftime deficit. Overall, ULM finished with its second best shooting performance of the season (58 percent). ULM had season highs in assists (20) and turnovers (25).

Olatayo finished with a career-high 30 points and eight rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. He finished 12-of-18 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. It marked the first 30-point game by a ULM player since Tommie Sykes posted 32 points against Union College on Jan. 4, 2011.

Jayon James finished just shy of a triple-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and a career-high 15 assists in 40 minutes. James' 15 assists were the second most in school history and the most since Larry Saulters recorded 19 assists against Mississippi College during the 1969-70 season. It was also the most assists by a player in the Sun Belt this season and tied for the fifth most in the NCAA this season. 

Trent Mackey recorded 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Warhawks. Mackey knocked in five 3-pointers on the night, including four straight in the second half. He finished 6-of-7 from the field after halftime.

UP NEXT
The Warhawks wrap up the regular season by hosting rival UL-Lafayette on Saturday at 4 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game as part of ULM's efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer.

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