- UALR (15-10, 9-5 SBC) finished the night shooting 49.0 percent from the field
and 60.0 percent from behind the three-point line to earn a 70-60 win over ULM (3-16,
2-11 SBC) Thursday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. After dropping each of its
first seven true road contests of the season, the Trojans have now won
three-straight games away from the Jack Stephens Center.
With UALR's win and Arkansas State's loss at Middle
Tennessee, the Trojans regained sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt's
Hagins led the Trojans in scoring and reached double figures for the eighth
time in nine games with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Sophomore Gus Leeper came off the bench to score
a career-best 12 points to go along with six rebounds. Junior Will Neighbour contributed 11 points
and six boards to give the Trojans three players in double figures.
As a team, UALR finished the night +9 on the glass
(34-to-25) and led 10-to-1 in second-chance points. The Trojans added a 17-to-8
advantage in points off turnovers.
Leading 36-23 at halftime, UALR came out of the break
and immediately got a bucket from sophomore Michael Javes to earn its largest lead of the game. But consecutive
buckets by ULM got the margin back to 10, and after a jumper by Neighbour made
it 40-28 at the 15:36 mark, the Warhawks scored 10-unanswered points to make it
a two-point game with 12:58 remaining.
Beginning with a free throw each from Leeper and
freshman Kemy Osse, the Trojans
answered by scoring 11 of the next 13 points to go up 51-40 with just under 11
minutes to play. Two additional free throws by Osse put UALR up four, and two
more freebies by Gillon and a tip-in by Leeper increased the Trojans' lead to
eight, 48-40, with 11:15 left. A three pointer by Osse capped the UALR run and
pushed the Trojans' lead to 11 at the 10:53 mark.
A late 7-0 run pulled ULM within three, 61-58, with
3:06 left on the clock. But Neighbour drained a three to get UALR's lead back
out to six, and a dunk by freshman James
White off a feed from Hagins stretched the Trojans' lead to eight with less
than a minute left.
Hagins finished the night with four assists against
just one turnover.
Tied at 19 going into the under-eight media timeout of
the first half, UALR came back out to the floor and converted on each of its
first two possessions to build a 23-19 lead. First, Javes knocked down a shot
in the lane to give UALR a two-point lead, then freshman Stetson Billings made a strong finish along the baseline off a feed
from Hagins to put the Trojans up four.
Two minutes later, an offensive board and putback by
Neighbour was followed with a steal and finish by Hagins, increasing UALR's
lead to 27-19 with 4:43 left in the half. A tip-in by Javes at the 3:56 mark
made it a 10-0 run for the Trojans.
A jumper by the Warhawks' Jayon James stopped the
bleeding for ULM and made it 29-21 with 3:37 left in the half, but the Trojans
came back with back-to-back buckets from Neighbour and Isler to push their lead
to 12. James connected on another jumper for the Warhawks to make it 33-23 with
less than two minutes left in the half. But a three-pointer by sophomore Ben Dillard with 49 seconds left on the
clock gave UALR its biggest lead of the half, 36-23, heading into the locker
Leeper and junior Leroy
Isler led the Trojans with seven points each at intermission. Dillard (6),
Javes (5) and Hagins (5) gave UALR five players with at least five points at
halftime. As a team, the Trojans finished the half shooting 50 percent from the
floor (14-of-28) and 57.1 percent from three-point range (4-of-7). UALR outrebounded
ULM 22-to-10 in the opening half.
UALR returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 14 when it
travels to Jonesboro, Ark., to take on in-state rival Arkansas State. Start
time is set for 7:05 p.m.