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Courtesy: Mark Wagner
Sophomore Taylor Gault led UALR with 23 points, her 15th 20+ game of her career.
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UALR Falls to FIU 55-53 Saturday in Sun Belt Conference Action
UALR Sports Information
Release: 01/12/2013

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UALR WBB Highlights vs. FIU (Jan. 12, 2013)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - UALR (11-5, 4-4 Sun Belt) hit a season best 15-18 from the charity stripe, but it was not enough as FIU (10-6, 4-3 SBC) claimed the hard-fought 55-53 win Saturday (Jan. 12) at the Jack Stephens Center.

With the Trojans down 52-48 with under two minutes left, sophomore Taylor Gault pulled up for a three in front of the home bench but was fouled by FIU's Jerica Coley. The Panthers' bench then was whistled for a technical foul, so Gault went to the line for five shots. She drained all of the freebies, giving UALR the 53-52 lead with 1:31 left. It was the first Trojan lead since the opening minutes of the game.

Coley came down and hit a fade away jumper to put FIU back up with 52 seconds left. After a UALR turnover, the Trojans got one last chance after Coley missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Ford missed the lay-up, followed by a split from the line by FIU for the final two-point margin.

UALR was able to keep the game in striking distance thanks to a season-best 83.3 percent shooting (15-18) from the charity stripe and a 37-28 rebounding edge.  FIU countered with a 20-25 (80 percent) mark from the line and a 32-25 halftime edge.

Individually, Gault led UALR with 23 points. Freshman Carolee Dillard recorded her first collegiate double-double, and second for the Trojans this season, with 16 boards and 10 points. Senior Janette Merriex added 10 points, including back-to-back triples which tied the game at 46.

FIU was led by Coley with 37, including 19 of the team's 23 in the second half. No other Panther scored more than six.

UALR took an early 4-2 edge thanks to a pair from the free throw line from freshman Shanity James before FIU took the lead with five unanswered. Merriex cut the deficit to one on a right elbow jumper with a toe on the line, but the Panthers responded with a Coley lay-up and a pair from the line from Carmen Miloglav. Dillard came down and grabbed and offensive rebound and made the put back while being fouled. She missed the ensuing free throw, but freshman Jakeisha Wells grabbed the board. Dillard split from the line as UALR trailed 11-9 with 13:35 left.

FIU came up with another mini 6-0 run to go up 17-9 on a Kamika Idom jumper with 10:16 left. Junior Hannah Fohne stopped the run on a drive and bucket on the left block, but a Coley three gave the visitors its largest lead of the game at nine. Gault tripled to cut it to 30-25 with 1:48 left until intermission, but Coley ended the scoring in the stanza with a lay-up.

FIU came out of the break and got the first bucket to go up nine, but UALR went on an 11-2 run to tie the game. Gault started the spurt with a jumper, followed by a pair for Fohne and a split from the line for Dillard. Following a defensive stop, Merriex caught the ball on the right elbow beyond the arc. The defense backed down and Merriex hit nothing but the net to bring UALR back within one with 15:45 left in the game. Coley answered with the jumper, but Merriex dialed in from deep again at the top of the key for the third tie of the game. Coley followed with a 6-0 run herself.

UALR cut the deficit to 42-40 on a Dillard jumper and a James stick back. The Trojans took the 53-52 edge when Gault went 5-5 from the line after the foul and technical, but Coley scored the final three points of the game as FIU claimed the two-point win.

UALR returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to take on Middle Tennessee. Game time is 7 p.m. with the contest live on ESPN3.com.

Final Stats (PDF) Final Stats (PDF)
Season Stats through 16 Games Season Stats through 16 Games
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