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Courtesy: Mark Wagner
Freshman Shanity James led UALR with 18 points and eight rebounds.
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UALR Falls on the Road to Middle Tennessee, 65-56
UALR Sports Information
Release: 01/16/2013

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Trojans battled back from an eight-point first half deficit to take a 37-35 lead, but 10 unanswered by the home team lifted Middle Tennessee (12-5, 7-1 Sun Belt) over UALR (11-6, 4-5 SBC) 65-56 Wednesday (Jan. 16) at the Murphy Center.

UALR took a brief 37-35 lead with 12:38 left in the game thanks to an 8-0 run, but Middle Tennessee used a 47-27 edge on the boards to push the lead to double-digits. The Trojans received a lift off the bench by outscoring the Blue Raiders 27-6, but MTSU countered with a 21-3 advantage in second chance points.

UALR shot 40 percent (22-55) from the field compared to 39.6 percent (21-53) for the home team.

Individually, freshman Shanity James came off the bench to lead UALR with 18 points, finishing 6-9 from the field and 6-8 from the charity stripe. James also added a team-high eight boards.

Middle Tennessee was led by Ebony Rowe's 35 points and 17 rebounds. Icelyn Elie had 14 while Kortni Jones contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.

UALR fell behind 15-8 thanks to a Jones triple halfway through the first half, but UALR would not go away as jumpers by James and junior Taylor Ford cut the deficit to three. Middle Tennessee came right back with a 7-2 run thanks to six from Rowe. Sophomore Taylor Gault answered with UALR's first three of the game from the left elbow.

An MTSU free throw and a layup around a jumper by sophomore Kiera Clark put Middle Tennessee up 25-19 with 2:14 left in the first half. Gault responded with a three the old way to bring the Trojans within three. A Rowe lay-up and a jumper by UALR's James closed out the scoring in the first half.

Rowe started the second stanza with a jumper, but Ford hit a triple to bring UALR within 29-27, the smallest Trojan deficit since 4-2 in the first half. With Middle Tennessee taking a 35-29 lead, UALR held the Blue Raiders without a field goal for four minutes and even took a 37-35 lead. Senior Janette Merriex started the run with a mid-range jumper along the baseline. After a defensive stand, Ford dumped the ball down low to freshman Carolee Dillard who found James for the lay-up. The UALR defense forced the second shot clock violation by MTSU and a pair of free throws from James tied the contest.

After forcing another MTSU turnover, Gault added a mid-range baseline jumper to give UALR a 37-35 lead with 12:38 left.

With the home team holding a slim 44-42 edge, Middle Tennessee scored 10 unanswered over a 2:34 span to push the lead to double-digits. Jones started the run with a free throw followed by a Rowe jumper while being fouled. She followed that with a fast-break layup while being fouled to put MTSU up 51-42. Elie capped the run on a triple and Middle Tennessee led 54-42 with 6:58 left in the game. UALR never got closer than eight as MTSU held on for the nine-point win.

UALR returns to action Saturday when it travels to Bowling Green, Ky. to take on Western Kentucky. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

Final Box (PDF) Final Box (PDF)
UALR Cumulative Season Stats through 17 games UALR Cumulative Season Stats through 17 games
UALR Conference Stats through 17 Games UALR Conference Stats through 17 Games
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