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Senior Janette Merriex
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UALR Out for Revenge when it Visits Western Kentucky Saturday at 2 p.m.
UALR Sports Information
Release: 01/18/2013

The Opening Tip

     UALR (11-6, 4-5 Sun Belt) aims to end a three-game losing streak and avenge a loss earlier this month when it travels to Bowling Green, Ky. to take on the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky Saturday (Jan. 19) at 2 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) either on terrestrial radio at 920 AM or via the world wide web by clicking here. For subscription video, you can watch on Western Kentucky's athletic web site by clicking here. Finally, live stats can be found here.

 

Quick Hits

  • UALR (11-6, 4-5) looks to bounce back from a 68-59 loss earlier this month to Western Kentucky (14-3, 7-1) when it travels to Bowling Green, Ky. Jan. 19.
  • In the loss, Trojan sophomore Kiera Clark scored a career-best 20 points on 9-10 shooting from the field.
  • Since the 2007-08 season, UALR is 7-2 in rematches against teams it previously lost to during the season. This includes a win over WKU in the 2011 SBC Tournament Final after a loss to WKU in the regular season.
  • Freshman Shanity James has reached double-digit scoring in two games this season. However, she has made the most of it as she exploded for 20 against Rice (Nov. 24) and 18 at Middle Tennessee (Jan. 16).
  • After only a 3.75 margin of victory in its first four SBC wins, WKU has won its last three by an average of 12.67.

 

Scouting Western Kentucky

     UALR (11-6, 4-5 Sun Belt) continues its road trip against the co-leaders of the Sun Belt Conference East Division when it takes on Western Kentucky (14-3, 7-1 SBC). The Hilltoppers held off the Trojans 68-59 Jan. 3 in Little Rock.

     In its last outing, Western Kentucky faced a 49-38 deficit against Louisiana-Lafayette before back-to-back threes by Bianca McGee ignited a 10-0 run. Both teams went back and forth before a pair of free throws by LeAsia Wright gave Western Kentucky the lead for good. The Hilltoppers completed the 22-point second-half turnaround for the 75-64 win.

     Individually, Alexis Govan recorded game-highs in both points (25) and rebounds (14). McGee added 22 points while Chastity Gooch grabbed 10 rebounds.

     Govan is 20th in the nation with 19.8 points while Gooch is 86th with 16.6 points per game. Combined with the 12th best mark in the country with 11.4 rebounds per game, Gooch has a nation-best 15 double-doubles in 17 games. Finally, Gooch is second in the conference and 45th in the nation with 2.88 thefts per game.
    

    With four conference games before the new year, Western Kentucky was undefeated but averaging only a 3.75 winning margin. In their last three conference wins (not including a 63-58 loss at Arkansas State Jan. 6), the Hilltoppers' margin of victory is 12.67, including an 86-68 win over then-SBC leader Florida Atlantic on Jan. 12.

 

Flashback to Earlier this Year

       The Trojans rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to take the lead, but a late push by the Hilltoppers gave Western Kentucky the 78-69 win over UALR Thursday (Jan. 3).

     UALR outshot Western Kentucky 52.8 to 42.9 percent, but it was the Hilltoppers' 35-27 edge on the boards that proved to be the difference. Western Kentucky also had an advantage on the offensive glass (12-6) and in second chance points (14-7).

     Individually, UALR sophomore Kiera Clark missed only one shot from the field (9-10) while making both attempts from the charity stripe for a career-best 20 points. Junior Taylor Ford added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists while classmate Hannah Fohne chipped in 13 points and eight boards.

     For Western Kentucky, Chastity Gooch scored a game-high 23 points and recorded 10 boards. Alexis Govan added 18 while Micah Jones contributed 12. Bianca McGee came off the bench for 12 points and six rebounds.

     As a team, Western Kentucky made 26-28 from the charity stripe for the game.            

     To read more, click here.

 

Youth Served

     The UALR freshmen are certainly getting their time to shine this season.

     Carolee Dillard has started the last four ballgames and has double-digit rebounds in two of those contests. Dillard recorded a double-double against FIU Saturday (Jan. 12) with 16 rebounds and 10 points, the second double dip for a Trojan this season and the first in Dillard's career.

     Morgan Bolton and Shanity James also started against FIU. Combined with Dillard, it was the first time three freshmen were in the starting line-up since Nov. 18, 2005 against Jackson State.

     Earlier this season, James exploded for 20 points against Rice Nov. 24 after only 11 points total in the previous four games. At Middle Tennessee, James notched her second double-digit scoring effort with 18 points and a career-best three blocks. Bolton scored a career-best 10 points and grabbed four boards at Troy Jan. 5. Last but certainly not least, Jakeisha Wells had five field goals at SMU Nov. 19 after not making a basket in her first two games.

 

A Little Help Here

     After being outscored 16-7 in bench scoring against Western Kentucky (Jan. 3), UALR has received double-digits in points from the bench in its last four contests. In those games, the Trojans are averaging 29.25 points, including a season-best 43 points in a 71-50 win at Troy, from players coming off the bench.

 

Trojans Rewind: Middle Tennessee

     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 over UALR 65-56 Wednesday (Jan. 16) at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

     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.

     To read more, click here.

 

Next Up:

     UALR returns to the friendly confines of the Jack Stephens Center Wednesday (Jan. 23) when it takes on Florida Atlantic. Tip-off against the Owls is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Full Notes (PDF) Full Notes (PDF)
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