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Junior Will Neighbour was named to the Hoops For Hope All-Tournament Team after scoring a game-high 19 points against South Carolina.
View larger Courtesy: Mark Wagner
Mark Wagner
Junior Will Neighbour was named to the Hoops For Hope All-Tournament Team after scoring a game-high 19 points against South Carolina.
Courtesy: Mark Wagner
Junior Will Neighbour was named to the Hoops For Hope All-Tournament Team after scoring a game-high 19 points against South Carolina.
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Trojans Fall to South Carolina in Hoops For Hope Final, 74-62
UALR Sports Information
Release: 11/26/2012

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - UALR (4-3) fell by a score of 74-62 to South Carolina (5-1) in the finals of the Hoops for Hope Classic Sunday night at the Puerto Vallarta Convention Center. Junior Will Neighbour finished the game with a season-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and was named to the Hoops for Hope All-Tournament Team in a postgame ceremony.

UALR dug itself into a deep hole in the first half, falling behind 39-22 at intermission thanks to a 9-of-26 effort from the field (34.6 percent) and a -17 rebounding margin (25-to-8) over the first 20 minutes. The Trojans rallied to outscore the Gamecocks 40-to-35 over the final 20 minutes, but it was too late to overcome the early deficit and South Carolina's +15 rebounding advantage (40-to-25) on the night.

South Carolina's offense played well throughout the contest, finishing with 74 points on 56.0 percent shooting (28-of-50) from the field - a season-high shooting percentage for a UALR opponent. Brenton Williams led the Gamecocks with 17 points on the night, while Lakeen Jackson led USC with 15 rebounds.

Neighbour reached double figures in scoring for the fourth-straight night and was the only Trojan to score 10 or more in the contest. The Grayshott, England-native also paced UALR with five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Freshman John Gillon scored nine points, all via three pointers, and junior Leroy Isler added eight. Freshman James White finished with six points, four rebounds and two steals, and freshman Josh Hagins scored three points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists. Sophomore Michael Javes ended the night with seven points and three rebounds.

The Gamecocks led from the get-go, going up 2-0 on a layup by Eric Smith just under two minutes in and racing out to a 12-5 lead by the 14:27 mark. South Carolina grabbed its first double-digit lead of the game when R.J. Slawson hit a shot in the paint to put South Carolina up 25-14.

Still up 11 with two minutes remaining in the half, USC ended the half on a 6-0 run thanks to three pointers by LaShay Page and Mindaugus Kacinas to take a 17-point lead into halftime.

The Gamecocks' lead grew as large as 27 when a trey by Brenton Williams made it 55-28 at the 13:01 mark of the second half. UALR got the deficit down to 17, 69-52, on a three pointer by freshman Kemy Osse at the 3:44 mark, and went on to oustcore the Gamecocks 10-3 over the final three and a half minutes to get the game to its 74-62 final score.

UALR returns to action when it kicks off Sun Belt Conference play Thursday night as part of a doubleheader against Troy at the Jack Stephens Center. The women are scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m., and the men's tip is set for 7:30 p.m.

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