- UALR (5-3, 1-0 SBC) shot 57.9 percent and outscored Troy (4-4, 0-1 SBC)
30-to-23 over the final 20 minutes to win its Sun Belt Conference opener by a
58-56 final Thursday night at the Jack Stephens Center. Junior Will Neighbour reached double figures
in scoring for the fifth-straight game and tallied his second double-double of
the year with a 14-point, 11-rebound effort.
Both teams finished the game shooting below 40 percent from
the field, but UALR was able to knock down 14-of-22 free throws, while Troy
finished the night just 2-of-2 from the foul line. UALR improved to 4-0 on the
season when holding their opponents to fewer than 60 points and 4-1 when
keeping opponents under 40 percent shooting.
UALR finished with four players in double figures for
the third time this season. In addition to Neighbour's 14, junior Leroy Isler finished with 12 points,
while sophomore Taggart Lockhart and
freshman James White chipped in 11
and 10, respectively.
UALR won the battle of the boards, 38-to-36, to and led
15-to-8 in second-chance points. The Trojans grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in
all, led by Neighbour (5) and Isler (3).
After Neighbour's 11 boards, Isler finished with nine
rebounds and freshman Josh Hagins
grabbed a career-best seven boards.
Neither team was able to get much going from behind the
three-point line. Troy finished the game shooting 27.3 percent (6-for-22) and
UALR shot 26.7 percent (4-for-15) from long range.
Troy knocked down 48.3 percent (14-of-29) of its shots over
the first 20 minutes and held UALR to just 27.3 percent shooting (9-of-33) in
the first half to take a 33-28 lead into halftime.
Troy took a 14-12 lead on a three pointer by Hunter
Williams at the 12:14 mark of the first half and went on a 17-9 run over the
next nine and half minutes to lead by 10, 31-21, with 2:43 left in the half.
UALR answered by ending the half on a 7-2 run that began with a three pointer
by freshman John Gillon and ended
with two free throws by Lockhart to cut the deficit to five at intermission.
UALR tied the score at 47 on a putback by Neighbour at the
7:56 mark, and took its first lead since the 13:10 mark of the first half on
another bucket by Neighbour with 1:05 left in the game. A pair of free throws
by Gillon put UALR up four, 57-53, with 0:32 left on the clock, but Troy pulled
within one on a trey by Williams with 0:10 remaining. Hagins knocked down one
of two at the line to put UALR back up two, 58-56, and Troy's Deonata Jethroe
missed a three pointer at the end of regulation that would have given Troy the
UALR returns to action when it hosts ULM in another men's
and women's doubleheader on Saturday. The women's game is set to begin at 4:30 p.m.,
while the men are scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.