DALLAS - The
Trojans were 10-1 under head coach Joe Foley when it blocks seven shots in a game. Make it 11-1, and the seventh
rejection could not have been a bigger one.
With the Trojans clinging to a 43-41 lead, SMU's Korina
Baker lined up to try and give the Mustangs its first lead of the second half.
Sophomore Taylor Gault flew to the
ball and grabbed the rebound. UALR (2-1) iced the game away by making four of
its final six from the charity stripe as the Trojans claimed a hard-fought
47-43 win over SMU (3-1) on Monday night (Nov. 19) in Dallas.
UALR made 19-53 from the field (36.5 percent) compared to
13-56 (23.2 percent) for the home team. SMU did win the rebounding battle
45-38, but the Trojans won the battle of the block 7-2.
Individually, the Trojans were led by Gault's 15 points
while freshman Jakeisha Wells added
13 points in her first double-digit scoring game of her career. Senior Janette Merriex, junior Taylor Ford and freshman Carolee Dillard grabbed five
Akil Simpson led SMU with 14 points and a game-high 12
boards. Alisha Fillmore chipped in 11 while Lexus Williams contributed eight
points and nine boards.
The wild sequence to finish the contest actually started
with a little over two minutes left in the game. With UALR clinging to a 41-40
advantage and SMU ball, Gault grabbed an errant pass from Farrin Bell and
tip-toed down the sideline away from the benches for the fastbreak layup. After
a UALR foul, Fillmore stepped to the line and made 1-of-2. The second clanged
off the rim and SMU grabbed the ball and missed a three-pointer and a layup. After
the third offensive board for the home team, Gault made the critical steal, was
fouled, and split at the line. UALR led 44-41 with 32 seconds left.
Fillmore preceeded to throw another errant pass out of
bounds and Gault sunk both at the line to push UALR out to a five-point edge.
SMU quickly made a layup, but Ford split a pair from the charity stripe with 11
seconds left for the final margin.
The first half saw SMU lead 9-7 at the 13-minute mark before
a 12-2 over the next 6:44 gave UALR what proved to be the lead for good. Senior
Janette Merriex started it with a
jumper just inside the arc on the left wing followed by a Wells spin-move
layup. SMU split from the line, but a Ford jumper and an old-fashioned three by
Wells pushed the lead to 16-10 just under 10 left until intermission. After SMU
and UALR split a pair from the charity stripe, sophomore Kiera Clark capped the run with a lay-up.
UALR raced out to the biggest lead of the season with a
minute remaining, 29-17, on a Wells layup and her seventh point of the half. SMU
cut the deficit to 29-20 before the break, going 3-4 from the line. The Trojans
defense held SMU to only 18.5 percent shooting (5-27) in the first stanza.
SMU cut the UALR advantage to 31-29 out of the locker room,
but Gault quickly ignited a 6-0 spurt with a jumper at the elbow. A Clark layup
and a pair from the line for Wells gave UALR the eight-point advantage with
10:59 remaining. The Mustangs cut the UALR lead to one before the frantic final
two minutes saw the Trojans claim the four-point win.
UALR returns to action on Wednesday (Nov. 21) when it looks
to claim its first home win of the season against Oral Roberts. Tip is
scheduled for 5:15 p.m.