- Sophomore Ben Dillard came off the
bench to score a career-high 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting to lead UALR (6-3,
2-0 SBC) to an 83-58 win over ULM (0-4, 0-2 SBC) Saturday night at the Jack
Stephens Center. The Trojan defense held ULM to 38.9 percent (21-of-54)
shooting from the field and set a new season high with 10 made three pointers
on the night.
"It's good to get out to a good start," said coach Steve Shields on the team's 2-0 start
to Sun Belt Conference play. "If you're going to be in a conference championship
race, you have to be able to protect your home court. We've got a group that is
a very young group, that stays together and doesn't care who gets the credit,
and I thought it showed tonight with us moving the basketball."
UALR finished the game shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53)
from the field and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from three-point range. The Trojans
tied a season high with 17 assists on 25 made baskets and set new season bests
for free throw percentage (79.3 percent) and made free throws (23-of-29).
Dillard led three UALR players who finished in double
figures. Freshman James White scored
14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and junior Will
Neighbour tallied his sixth-straight double-digit scoring game with 13
points on a 4-of-7 effort from the field. Sophomore Taggart Lockhart scored nine points and led all Trojans with seven
rebounds on the night.
UALR finished the night with a 36-to-31 advantage on
the boards and a 42-to-23 lead in bench scoring.
Jayon James led ULM with 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting,
and Marcelis Hansberry chipped in 14 as the only other Warhawk in double
figures. Millaun Brown grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and scored five
UALR got off to slow start and trailed by as many as
seven in a first half that saw the Warhawks begin the game by making five of
their first seven shots. A jumper by James game ULM a 13-6 lead at the 16:00
mark of the first half, but UALR evened the score at 14-all on a follow dunk by
White at the 11:12 mark that capped an 8-to-1 Trojans' run.
ULM went back up six on back-to-back three pointers by
Trent Mackey and Kyle Koszuta, but the Trojans answered with nine-straight
points, including eight by Dillard, to take a 23-20 lead. After a free throw by
Neighbour made it 32-25 with 0:28 remaining, James scored on a putback with
0:06 left in the half to cut UALR's lead to five at intermission.
A three pointer by sophomore Taggart Lockhart gave UALR its first double-digit lead of the game,
38-28, two and half minutes into the second half. The Trojans' went up 13 on
three-straight made free throws before ULM cut the lead to seven on an 8-to-2
run fueled by back-to-back treys by James and Mackey.
Lockhart's second trey of the game put UALR back up 10,
48-38, with 13:04 to play. Two free throws by Dillard made it 60-44 with just
under nine minutes remaining, and UALR went up 26 on a jumper by freshman Kemy Osse with 2:37 left in regulation.
After a three-pointer by freshman Stetson
Billings made it 83-57 with just under a minute remaining, ULM's R.J.
McCray knocked down one of two free throws to bring the game to its 83-58 final
with 0:42 ticks left on the clock.
UALR returns to action with a pair of non-conference
matchups next week, beginning with St. Gregory's on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at the
Jack Stephens Center. The Trojans will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats
Thursday at 6 p.m.