Courtesy: Mark Wagner
Sophomore Ka'Nesheia Cobbins is one of three Trojans shooting above 50 percent from the field.
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UALR and FIU Battle on SBC Network Saturday at 1 p.m.
UALR Sports Information
Release: 01/11/2013

The Opening Tip

     Both teams are looking for a critical Sun Belt Conference win on Saturday (Jan. 12) when FIU and UALR do battle on the Sun Belt Network. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

     Unable to attend? There are multiple ways you can follow all the action. If you want to listen to audio, you can hear Phil Elson (Play-by-Play) and Ron Jumper (Color) either on terrestrial radio at 920 AM or via the world wide web by clicking here. For subscription video, you can watch on the UALR web site by clicking here. Other broadcasting options are the Sun Belt Network or ESPN3 with Lyn Rollins doing play-by-play and coach Debbie Reynolds doing color commentary. 

      Finally, live stats can be found by clicking here


Quick Hits

  • There will be a total of 1,319 wins between the Trojans' Joe Foley and the Panthers' Cindy Russo when UALR (11-4, 4-3 Sun Belt) hosts FIU (9-6, 3-3 SBC).
  • The Trojans are currently on a six-game winning streak against the Panthers, dating back to the 2007-08 SBC Tournament. Despite never winning by more than 11, the average margin of victory is eight during the run.
  • With 26 points off the bench against North Texas Wednesday (Jan. 9), sophomore Taylor Gault has eclipsed the 20-point mark 14 times in her career.
  • UALR became the fifth SBC team with a positive rebounding margin thanks to a +19 edge on the glass the last two games.
  • FIU is coming off a 49-43 loss at Arkansas St. Wednesday (Jan. 9). FIU also lost to ASU 60-57 in November.

Scouting FIU

     It has been a roller coaster of a season so far for FIU (9-6, 3-3). After starting 2-4, the Panthers have won seven of their last nine. FIU already has played Arkansas State and lost twice, but handed conference co-leader Middle Tennessee its only SBC loss, 58-51, on Dec. 20, 2012 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

     In its last game, FIU kept the contest within a 10-point range against Arkansas State, but the Red Wolves prevailed with a 49-43 win. Both teams had a tough shooting night, especially from behind the arc where FIU and ASU combined for a 3-23 mark. Jerica Coley turned in her usual stat line for FIU with game-highs in points (15), rebounds (12), assists (four) and steals (two). Marita Davydova added eight points and six boards.

     Leading FIU is Jerica Coley, who is fourth in the nation with 22.9 points per game, 54th with 1.8 blocks per game and 61st with an 84.3 free-throw percentage. Marita Davydova adds 9.9 points and a team-high 8.4 boards. As a team, the Panthers are averaging a 9.1 rebounding margin, easily leading the conference by five boards.

     Speaking of blocks,  Coley (5'7") and UALR sophomore Taylor Gault (5'8") are the only players in the country that are in the top-100 in blocks who are less than six foot. Coley is second and Gault is third in rejections among guards.

Flashback to Last Year

     UALR led by as much as 17 and never trailed as the Trojans held on for the 63-58 win Feb. 15, 2012 at the Jack Stephens Center.

     The Trojans used a plethora of mini runs to take a 35-19 lead at halftime. FIU pulled within 47-44 with eight minutes left, but UALR responded with a 14-4 spurt to push the lead back to double-digits.

     For UALR, Taylor Gault scored 14 points while Janette Merriex came off the bench for 12. Jerica Coley scored 24 while Finda Mansare added 19 for FIU.

To read more, click here.


History Achieved Times Three

     Already on the season through only 15 games, UALR has achieved three big wins in the history of the program. Most recently, head coach Joe Foley became the eighth head coach with 100 career SBC wins with a 71-50 win at Troy Jan. 5.

     With a 79-47 win over Oral Roberts on Nov. 21, 2012, UALR won its 200th game as an NCAA Division I program. Less than two weeks later on Dec. 1, 2012, the Trojans claimed its 300th program win with a 71-54 victory over ULM.


Some Defensive Thoughts

     Besides being among the top teams in the country in field goal defense, UALR stands out defensively in other categories as well.

     Despite only 40 blocks in its last eight games, UALR is still 12th in the country with 5.9 blocks per game. The Trojans defense ranks 40th in the nation, holding opponents to 54.5 points per game.


Brother Can You Share Some Dimes?

     UALR continues to lead the conference in assists.  

     The Trojans average 14.1 assists per game, more than a whole pass better than its nearest competitor. In fact, UALR is second in the conference with a helper on 54.7 percent (211-386) of its baskets, one of only five teams in the SBC who are assisting on more than half of its baskets. ULM leads the way with helpers on more than 60 percent (188-313) of its field goals.

     Individually, junior Taylor Ford is second in the conference and 93rd in the nation with 4.3 assists per game. With a 1.3 assist/turnover ratio, Ford is one of only six players in the SBC with a positive ratio.

In the Midst of Greatness

     The court at Jack Stephens Center will see a rare treat of coaching greatness Saturday when UALR head coach Joe Foley and FIU floor general Cindy Russo lock horns Saturday afternoon. With 1,319 victories between the two, Foley and Russo are two of only 12 NCAA Division I head coaches with more than 600 wins.

     This will be the eighth meeting this season where both coaches are members of the exclusive 600-win club. The road team is 4-1 in those match-ups (two were on neutral courts). The SBC is one of only two conferences in the country that can boast multiple 600-win coaches (Big East has three: UCONN, Notre Dame and Rutgers).

     Earlier this season, Foley became just the eighth coach, and fifth active, to eclipse the century mark in Sun Belt Conference wins. Russo is the active leader with 126 wins.


Trojans Rewind:  North Texas

     The Trojans put together a furious rally from a 16-point hole in the first half, but the hot-shooting hand of the Mean Green's Laura McCoy prevailed as UALR fell to North Texas 68-65 Wednesday night (Jan. 9) at the Jack Stephens Center.

     UALR stormed back thanks to 44.6 percent shooting (25-56) and a 35-23 edge in bench points. However, North Texas used a 10-19 mark from behind the arc and made 18-22 from the charity stripe in the win.

     Sophomore Taylor Gault came off the bench to score a game-high 26 points, her fourth time in the season eclipsing the 20-point mark. Senior Janette Merriex and junior Taylor Ford both added 11. Junior Hannah Fohne grabbed 10 rebounds, her fifth game of the season and sixth in her career with double-digit boards.

To read more, click here.


Next Up:

  UALR returns to action Wednesday (Jan. 16) when it travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn. for a match-up with Middle Tennessee. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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