LITTLE ROCK - The Trojans recorded a season-low nine turnovers while forcing 22 as UALR (3-1) bested Oral Roberts (2-2) Wednesday night (Nov. 21) at the Jack Stephens Center.
UALR outscored Oral Roberts 27-6 in points off turnover while the Trojans hit 32-65 (49.2 percent) from the field. ORU was held to 18-53 (34 percent) in the game. It was also the third-straight contest UALR rejected seven shots.
Sophomore Taylor Gault recorded her second 30+ point performance of the season with 31 points and a team-high six boards. Juniors Hannah Fohne and Taylor Ford both contributed 10 while senior Janette Merriex added a pair of triples and three blocks.
Taylor Cooper narrowly missed the double-double for ORU with 14 points and nine boards. Kevi Luper, who finished second in the country with more than 22 points per game last season, was held to 12. Jaci Bigham contributed 10.
UALR matched its highest output in a half under head coach Joe Foley with a 47-12 run over the final 17:39 of the first for a 51-18 halftime edge. It was Merriex hitting a triple at the top of the arc that gave UALR the 7-6 advantage with 17:24 left in the first half and the lead for good. Merriex has scored UALR's seventh point every game this season on a bomb from downtown.
Gault pushed the lead to 13-6 on back-to-back triples.
UALR and Oral Roberts traded the next eight points before the Trojans pushed the lead to double-digits. Gault hit another triple followed by a junior Taylor Ford jumper and another Gault layup for the 24-12 edge with 10:31 left in the half. UALR pushed it to a 20-point lead with under seven minutes left on a 10-0 spurt. Fohne started the push with a putback after hitting the offensive glass, a Gault three, a Ford free throw, a freshman Jakeisha Wells jumper on the right wing and another Gault layup. Gault finished the half with a layup and a pair of free throws to finish with a career-half high of 25. She also made 5-6 from beyond the arc, also a career best for Gault.
The Trojans shot 19-34 (55.9 percent) in the first half, including a scorching 6-9 (66.7%) from downtown. Oral Roberts did shoot 9-28 (32.1 percent), but the Golden Eagles threw 13 turnovers which led to 18 UALR points in the half. UALR only registered three turnovers and allowed no points off of miscues.
The second half was nip-and-tuck with Oral Roberts actually out-scoring UALR 29-28 for the final 32-point margin. A 6-1 run midway through the second half gave the Trojans a margin of 38, the largest of the season. Gault kicked off the run with a jumper. ORU split from the line, but sophomore Kiera Clark added a jumper before classmate Ka'Nesheia Cobbins grabbed a board and found Gault for the fastbreak lay-up and the 64-26 lead with 11:40 left in the game. UALR never led by less than 28 the rest of the way.
UALR returns to action Saturday (Nov. 24) when it host Rice. Tip-off is scheduled for noon.