Fouls doom Patriots in loss

Published 12:28 am Sunday, February 22, 2009

After building an 18-point first half lead, foul trouble halted Wallace’s momentum in a 101-91 loss to Faulkner State on Saturday.

Searching for a rare home win in their final chance to defend the home court, the Patriots couldn’t have asked for a better start. A Kent Jones 3-pointer, followed by a Jones steal and Detrius McCall layup sparked a 23-4 run to put Wallace ahead 31-13 at the 9:01 mark of the first half.

But the Sun Chiefs did not back down. They weather the storm and answered with a 10-0 run over the next minute and nine seconds to trim the lead to 31-23.

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As was the case most of the night, Faulkner did most of its damage from the free throw line. Five Sun Chief points came from the charity stripe, where they finished 29-35.

The platooning of big men Chris Walker and Michael Acoff due to foul trouble aided the run as well. But despite their difficulties, the Patriots held a 48-37 advantage at the half.

“I told them at the half that it’s a gut check,” said Faulkner State coach Jack Robertson. “I’m proud of our guys for not quitting.”

They maintained a double-digit advantage for the first six minutes of the second half, but the fouls caught up to them. The Sun Cheifs took advantage.

Trailing 64-53, Terrance Mitchell hit a jump shot and Mike Washington followed with a 3-pointer to spark a 17-3 run to put Faulkner

State ahead 70-67. The Patriots recovered well enough from their lull to tie the game at 82 on a Jerome Davidson layup, but the Sun Chiefs answered with a knockout punch.

Layups from Mitchell and Brad Lacey — combined with a stagnant Wallace offense — led to a 12-0 run to put Faulkner State ahead 94-82 with three minutes left.

“We just didn’t attack aggressively on offense,” said Wallace assistant Tra Fortier, who filled in for Wallace coach Ronald Lane. Lane sat the game out due to an ejection at Alabama Southern on Thursday. “We sat around and watched and turned the ball over.”