Munnings’ 23 points on Senior Day not enough for the Warhawks
After being honored on Senior Day in his final home game for the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) Warhawks, Bahamian Travis Munnings is now looking forward to ending the season strong and being a key contributor for his team in the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Championship next week in New Orleans, Louisiana.
With two away games remaining on the regular season schedule, Munnings and the Warhawks can realistically end the season anywhere from the fifth to the 10th seed in the Sun Belt Conference. They end the regular season with road games against the Arkansas State Red Wolves and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Trojans, and will play those teams on Thursday and Saturday respectively.
In his final home game of his career on Saturday, Munnings – a 6’6”, 200-pound forward – powered in 23 points and added six rebounds in 37 minutes of play. He had an efficient outing, converting on nine of 12 shots from the field, but overall, the Warhawks fell down on the defensive end, allowing what was a season-high 97 points and 22 assists for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The Warhawks fell 97-91, dropping their third game in their last five games, while the Chanticleers ended a four-game losing streak.
In the Sun Belt Tournament, a fifth seed would give Munnings and the Warhawks a first-round bye next week. The bottom four seeds see action next Tuesday, and the fifth and sixth seeds will enter the fray on Thursday. The Warhawks are currently in a three-way tie for fifth in the conference with the Chanticleers and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, all with an 8-8 win-loss record. The Warhawks are 15-13 overall while the Chanticleers evened off at 14-14.
A second half rally against Coastal Carolina fell short, giving the Warhawks just its second home loss of the season. They are also a winless 0-2 against the Chanticleers this season. The Warhawks play their games inside the Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe, Louisiana.
“We gave them too many easy buckets,” Munnings was quoted as saying on the team’s website. “We have to make teams work harder. We’ve got to get locked in on our defense.”
Daishon Smith led the Warhawks’ attack with 29 points, including seven three-pointers. Munnings added 23 including five three-pointers. The Warhawks made a single game record 17 three-pointers but got too reliant on the long ball and fell down on interior defense. They finished 17-for-33 from distance which allowed them to come back in the game, cutting a 20-point lead to four at one point late in the game, but they could get no closer. They were 10-for-15 from three-point land in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.
The Chanticleers outscored ULM, 52-28, in the paint, shot 57 percent from the floor and out rebounded the Warhawks, 35-18. DeVante Jones paced Coastal Carolina with a game-high 30 points. Zac Cuthbertson added 25.
Munnings, who was honored before the game along with four other seniors including fellow Bahamian Calvin Anderson, was on fire early with 14 of ULM’s first 25 points to keep the Warhawks close to the Chanticleers. He made four of his first six three-pointers and was 5-for-7 from three-point land for the game. Each of ULM’s seniors received an action photo, framed jersey and L Club plaque. Munnings also received a basketball commemorating membership in the 1,000-point/800-rebound career club. The Bahamian national anthem was also played, honoring Munnings, Anderson and graduate assistant coach Prince Cooper, also a Bahamian.