The turnover bug bit the Statesmen (4-8, 0-4 GSC) early, giving up a total of 13 in the first half of play against the Hawks (9-4, 3-2 GSC), and were unable to mount a second half comeback in the hostile environment on the road.
Delta State coughed the ball up four times in the early minutes of the contest allowing Shorter to streak out to a 9-2 lead and eventually extended that lead to 14-4 at the 13:33 mark before the Statesmen found an offensive rhythm.
The Hawks capitalized off the early Statesmen mistakes, converting 13 turnovers into 15 points to take a 28-19 lead into the locker room.
Terry Leake, Jr. led the way once again posting nine points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field while gathering in five rebounds in the first half. Leake, Jr. finished the night with 14 points and six rebounds.
The Statesmen looked to make a comeback in the second half of play but it came a few minutes too late as the Hawks opened the second half with another 9-2 run to extend the lead out to 37-21 with 17:21 remaining.
Michael Weems spurred the offensive surge from the Statesmen by connecting on all four of his three-point attempts in the second half. The Milwaukee, Wisc. Native finished the night with 15 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from behind the arc along with seven rebounds.
Delta State pulled to within nine, 48-39 on a Jack Madgen jumper with 9:02 left on the clock, but that was as close as the Statesmen could get to the Hawks in the contest. Madgen closed out the contest with a total of 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
The Statesmen return to action on Saturday, traveling to Spragins Hall in Huntsville, Ala. to take on the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Statesmen Sports Network.