Women's Basketball Opens Up Sun Belt Play against Troy
Courtesy: UALR Sports Information
          Release: 11/28/2012
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The Opening Tip

     UALR looks to run its winning streak to four games when it host Troy for the 2012-2013 Sun Belt Conference opener. Game time is set for 5:15 p.m.

     Tickets range from $7-38 and can be purchased at the door or by calling 501-565-UALR.

Quick Hits

  • UALR looks to imrove to 9-0 against Troy. The two Trojans first faced each other in the 2005-06 season.
  • UALR is 4-1 on the season. The Trojans did not have five wins last season until New Year's Eve 2011. UALR is also looking to improve to 20-5 in the calender year 2012.
  • UALR is 6-1 in conference openers at the Jack Stephens Center and is on a six-game winning streak that has a margin of victory of 24 points. UALR defeated Troy 83-48 to open up conference play in 2010-11.
  • In its only win of the season against Furman, Troy scored 28 more points (118) then SMU and UALR

   combined (90) when the two teams faced off Nov. 19.

  • Thursday night's game will be the fourth Sun Belt Conference contest played this season. No other conference     

     has even started league play.

Scouting Troy

     Troy enters the game with a 1-3 record but leads the Sun Belt and is fourth in the country with 88.8 points per game. First year head coach Chanda Rigby is 1-3, claiming a 118-96 victory over Furman Nov. 18.

     In their last contest, the Trojans were held to a season-low 65 points in a 72-65 loss at Kennesaw State. Sarah McAppion came off the bench with 17 points on 8-12 shooting while Jasmine Pitts added 13.

     Troy will throw a really balanced offense at UALR as five players average 11 points or more (and McAppion adds 9.8 ppg). Kourtney Coleman leads the team with 13.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Jasmine Pitts is close behind with 12.8 points while Ashley Beverly-Kelly and Joanna Harden add 12.3 and 12.0 ppg, respectively.

     Troy was picked to finish sixth in the Sun Belt Conference West Division in the preseason poll of head coaches. In the overall series, UALR is 8-0 against Troy, including 4-0 in Little Rock.

Flashback to Last Year

     UALR raced out to a 34-18 halftime lead and scored 23 points off of 20 Troy turnovers to win 59-40 last season on Feb. 18, 2012 in Troy, Ala.

     UALR's Taylor Gault leads all returners with 13 points while Kiera Clark added six boards.

     Troy only returns two starters from last year's contest between the two schools. Brooke Bowie scored six points while Sarah McAppion added two points in only 12 minutes of action.

     Both teams played back and forth for the first six minutes. Troy led 8-7 before a pair of lay-ups by UALR's Marian Kursh ignited a 13-2 run. UALR never trailed the rest of the way.

To read more, click here.

A Fast Start...

     In UALR's 32-point win against Oral Roberts last Wednesday (Nov. 21), UALR accomplished many half feats in racing to a 51-18 intermission lead over the Golden Eagles.

     As a team, the 51 points tied the best half output during head coach Joe Foley's tenure (51, Harding Jan. 23, 2007) and was the most against an NCAA Division I team. Individually, sophomore Taylor Gault had a career-half high 25 points on 9-14 shooting. Gault also connected on a career-best 5-6 from behind the arc, setting a new career-best.

...A Strong Finish

     While UALR had a serviceable halftime advantage of nine against Rice Nov. 24, 2012, the second half saw UALR hold the Owls to 5-26 shooting (19.2 percent) from the field in a 45-26 edge in the second half.

     Junior Taylor Ford dished out a career-best nine assists while freshman Shanity James  scored 20 points in the game alone, recording 11 points combined in the first four contests of the season. Sophomore Kiera Clark tallied a career-high 18 points on a team season-high 9-12 (75 percent) shooting.

The Reports Are In

     The first round of NCAA statistics were released Monday (Nov. 26) with three different Trojans among the top-50 in the country in three different categories.

     Leading the Sun Belt Conference in scoring, sophomore Taylor Gault is 17th in the nation with 21.2 points per game. Senior Janette Merriex also is tops in the SBC and is 26th in the nation with a 50 percent (10-20) three-point field goal mark. Junior Taylor Ford leads the SBC and is 47th in the nation in assists per game (5.2).

     As a team, UALR is 21st in the country with a 32.0 percent field goal defense, a 45.4 shooting percentage and 50th in assist-turnover ratio (0.96).

A Turnover Turnover

     In the first three games, UALR 64 turnovers and 36 assists (0.6 assist-turnover ratio). In the last two games, UALR has 41 assists and 16 miscues (2.6 assists to turnover ratio). After not having reached 20 assists in two years, UALR has done it in its last two games.

Trojans Rewind: Rice

     UALR claimed a 76-48 win over Rice Saturday afternoon (Nov. 24) at the Jack Stephens Center.

     The Trojans held the Owls to only 13-53 (24.5 percent) from the field. The Trojans also dished out 21 assists on 31 made buckets, the second-straight game with 20+ assists. As a team, UALR shot 46.3 percent from the field (31-67).

     Individually, career-highs were plentiful for the Trojans. Freshman Shanity James exploded for a career-high 20 points, hitting 9-13 from the field. Sophomore Kiera Clark added a career-best 18 points, scoring eight of the first 10 points for UALR in the game. She also grabbed seven boards.

     Sophomore Taylor Gault added 11 points. Junior Taylor Ford passed out a career-best nine assists, adding eight rebounds to nearly miss her first career double-double.

To read more, click here.

Next Up

     UALR makes the quick turnaround when it hosts ULM to open up the month of December. Game time on Saturday is set for 4:30 p.m.

Full Notes (PDF) Full Notes (PDF)
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