Courtesy: Mark Wagner
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UALR Battles South Alabama Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
UALR Sports Information
Release: 02/01/2013

The Opening Tip

     The Trojans kick off February with a showdown against the South Alabama Jaguars. UALR beat USA 49-40 on Dec. 22, 2012 to kickoff Sun Belt Conference road play.

     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 UALR's athletic web site by clicking here. Finally, live stats can be found here.


Quick Hits

  • UALR (14-7, 6-6 SBC) returns to action Saturday (Feb. 2) when it hosts the South Alabama Jaguars. UALR won 49-40 Dec. 22 in Mobile, Ala.
  • The game in Mobile was the first time in the first 11 games where UALR was losing at halftime. The Trojans are 3-5 this season when trailing at the break.
  • UALR's win over Louisiana Tech Wednesday (Jan. 30) marked the third time, and second in the last three games, the Trojans have had four double-digit scorers.
  • Junior Taylor Ford has hit a three in five consecutive games. She is 7-15 (46.7 percent) in those contests.
  • A freshman has been in the starting line-up for UALR the last eight games.
  • South Alabama and UALR are 1-2 in the conference in scoring defence (54.0 and 54.9, respectively).


Scouting South Alabama

     With UALR sitting 6-6 in conference and South Alabama close behind at 5-7 (12-9 overall), Saturday (Feb. 2) will be an important game when it comes to a potential bye in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. USA comes into the contest with a two-game SBC losing streak. The Jaguars had won 5-of-7 before the current slide.

     In its last contest, South Alabama never even had a lead as it fell 72-61 Wednesday (Jan. 30) at Arkansas State. Mary Nixon led the Jaguars with 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Nixon and Brianna Wright both grabbed a team-high six boards. Meghan Dunn came off the bench with 16 while Wright chipped in 12.

     With UALR having won the rebounding battle the last four games, the Trojans will need to continue to be strong on the block as South Alabama won the battle on the boards with ASU 35-24, including 16-4 on the offensive end. The game could potentially be a defensive slugfest as the Jauguars and Trojans are 1-2 in the conference in scoring defense at 54.0 and 54.9, respectively.

     Individually, Mary Nixon is the only double-digit scorer with 11.8 per game while Ronneka Robertson pulls down 7.2 boards per game.


Flashback to Earlier this Year

     The Trojans overcame a slow first half with stifling second half defense as UALR claimed a 49-40 win over South Alabama Saturday (Dec. 22) in Mobile, Ala.

     Facing its first halftime deficit of the season, UALR outscored South Alabama 27-17 in the second and held the Jaguars to 22.6 percent shooting (7-31).

     Sophomore Taylor Gault led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points. Junior Hannah Fohne grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds, corralling 12 in the first half alone. Fohne and senior Janette Merriex both added eight points.

     Brianna Wright came off the bench for South Alabama with 10 points. Ronneka Robertson and Veronica Cherizol added nine boards.     For the Mean Green, Laura McCoy went 6-7 from three-point range for 23 points. Alexis Hyder added 17 while Loryn Goodwin came off the pine for 17. Hyder also added seven rebounds.

     To read more, click here.


The Taylor Gault Effect

     While sophomore Taylor Gault has come off the bench during the Trojans current winning streak, she is making her presence known. In the last three games, Gault has come off the bench for a minimum of five-straight points to be the catalyst for a UALR run.

     Against Florida Atlantic (Jan. 23), UALR led 27-16 when Gault scored nine-straight points.

     Gault followed that up with five straight in the second half against North Texas (Jan. 26) when the Mean Green threatened to pull away.

     With the Trojans holding a slim 14-8 lead against La Tech, Gault scored seven-straight on her own and made her first four shots of the game.


Free Throw Turnaround

     In the first 12 games, UALR was shooting 56.4 percent (132-234) from the line. Thus far in 2013, UALR has made 68.3 percent (125-183), including 72.4 percent (92-127) in its last six games. Last in the conference for the majority of the season. UALR is now ninth at 61.6 percent (257-417).


Crashing the Glass

     After being out-rebounded in six of the first 13 games, UALR has out-muscled its opponents six times in the last seven games.

     Jan. 23 against Florida Atlantic, UALR turned out a 56-24 edge on the glass. A +32 rebounding margin is the largest under head coach Joe Foley, surpassing the +23 (45-22) advantage on the glass against Arkansas State Feb. 25, 2012. It was only the third game under coach Foley UALR was +20 or greater on the boards.

     UALR is +59 on rebounds for the season for a 2.3 rebounds per game margin.


Thanks for Playing

     With the true round-robin format in SBC play this season, UALR will be completing its fourth regular season series against South Alabama. Meanwhile, the Trojans have yet to meet league-rival and SBC West-leading Arkansas State (Feb. 13). In fact, UALR completed the season sweep at Troy (71-50) on Jan. 5. Most teams were starting conference play that weekend.

     In other completed season series, UALR split with North Texas and was swept by WKU.


House of Horrors (for Opponents)

     The Jack Stephens Center has been quite the home venue throughout the years. UALR is 96-20 since it opened before the 2005-06 season (.828), including a 54-11 (.828) mark in Sun Belt Conference play.

     The UALR record for consecutive home wins is 29 from 1/23/07 (a victory over Harding) to 1/17/09 (a loss in overtime to Middle Tennessee).  That includes the last six home games of 2006-07 through the first nine home games of 2008-09.

     2011-12 was certainly an aberration, but UALR ended the season strong. After losing four of the first six in Little Rock, the Trojans bounced back and won 9 of its next 10.

     In conference play, UALR is even hotter with as many SBC losses the last five years as in the first two years the Jack Stephens Center was open. UALR's average margin of victory in home games this season is 14.7


Having a Block Party

     In head coach Joe Foley's first eight seasons, UALR only reached the century mark in blocks once (100 in 2006-07). The Trojans have reached that mark each of the last two seasons. UALR had set the new standard with 114 last season in 33 games, but obliterated it this year with 124 rejections in only 21 games. With an average of 5.9 blocks per game and a minimum of 30 games, the Trojans are on pace for 177 blocks. The record for blocks in a season by an SBC team is 267 by Old Dominion (2006-07).

     The Trojans are 15-3 when they record seven or more blocks a game under coach Foley. Having only reached the seven-block plateau 10 times in nine years under Foley, UALR has eight such games already this season.


Trojans Rewind: Louisiana Tech

     The Trojans used a pair of double-digit runs and never looked back as UALR dismantled Florida Atlantic 77-45 Wednesday (Jan. 23) in Little Rock.

     Freshman Shanity James notched her first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Taylor Ford added a career-best 16 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Taylor Gault came off the bench for a game-high of 17 points on 8-13 shooting.

     Tied at 13, UALR scored 12 unanswered. Later in the first half, Gault scored nine in a row to enter the top 10 in career scoring at UALR.

     For the game, UALR outrebounded FAU 56-24, the largest rebounding margin under Coach Foley. In fact, UALR only had four fewer offensive rebounds (20) than the Owls had total rebounds. UALR used a 20-6 advantage in the paint and a 20-6 edge in second chance points in winning by 32, matching its largest victory this season (vs. Oral Roberts, Nov. 21, 2012; 79-47).

     To read more, click here.


Next Up:

     The Trojans begin a stretch where they play four of the next five on the road when UALR travels to Monroe, La. to battle ULM Thursday (Feb. 7) at 5:15 p.m.

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