STOCKTON, Calif. – The Trojans rallied back from a 10-point first half deficit to take a lead at the break, but the home team rallied in the second half as UALR (24-9) lost to Pacific (26-7) in the first round of the WNIT Friday (March 22) in Stockton, Calif.
The Trojans used a 48-30 edge on the boards, but Pacific shot 44.6 percent (25-56) from the field, compared to 38.1 percent (24-63) for UALR. The Trojans shot 52.2 (12-23) from the line as opposed to 64.0 percent (16-25) for the Tigers.
Individually, freshman Shanity James paced UALR with 19 points. Coupled with junior Taylor Ford’s 15 points, James and Ford just missed double-doubles with nine boards each.
Sophomore Taylor Gault added 15 points.
Gena Johnson scored a game-high 22 points while Kendall Kenyon scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Pacific raced out to a 10-0 lead before Ford hit from downtown with 14:35 remaining in the game. Trailing 15-5, sophomore Ka'Nesheia Cobbins and Ford made back-to-back layups. With the Tigers up 22-16, UALR went on a 9-2 run for its first lead of the game. Sophomore Kiera Clark and Ford hit layups. UP answered with a layup, but Ford made a jumper and Clark completed an old-fashioned three to put UALR up 25-24 with 4:47 left until break.
The home team made the next basket, but James scored the final six points for UALR in the half, her only points in the first stanza. Ford ripped down a defensive board and threw down to James for the layup. After two minutes of scoreless action, James cleaned up a Clark miss to put UALR up three. Pacific’s Ashley Smith answered with a layup, but James scored on a helper from Clark as the Trojans took a 31-28 lead into break.
Gault added a jumper and later a triple to put UALR up 36-31 at the 17:58 nark, its biggest lead of the game. A layup, a split from the line and a triple from Pacific’s Johnson give the home team back the lead. The Tigers took a 47-43 advantage, but jumpers from Cobbins and Gault knotted the game. Gault then intercepted a pass and raced to the basket to put UALR back up 49-47 with 9:13 left.
An old-fashioned three by Pacific’s Kristina Johnson ignited a 7-0 run as Pacific led for good.
UALR cut the deficit to one with 5:11 left, but Pacific built the lead to as much as seven as the Tigers held on for the four-point win.