UALR TROJANS (15-16)
vs. SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS (12-15)
Sat., March 5, 2011 - 9 PM (Central)
Hot Springs, Ark. (Summit Arena/Convention Center)
Radio: The game can be heard live on KABZ 103.7 FM
Online: Live audio/video stream available at www.sunbeltsports.org
The Series: USA leads 23-12
Streak: USA - won 3
Last Meeting: @South Alabama 92, UALR 79 (Feb. 24, 2011)
UALR - Steve Shields, 8th season at UALR (Baylor, 1988)
Record at school: 128-111 (.536) Career record: same Record vs. USA: 3-7
USA - Ronnie Arrow, 12th season at USA (Southwest Texas State, 1969)
Record at school: 189-143 (.569) Career record: 323-234 (.580)
UALR (15-16) opens its stay at the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Championships on Saturday, March 5 when it takes on South Alabama (12-15) at 9 p.m. on the Convention Center court at Summit Arena ... The Trojans enter the SBC Tournament as the 5th seed out of the West Division following Tuesday night's 72-69 loss to North Texas at the Jack Stephens Center ... UALR has lost three straight heading into the Sun Belt Tournament and is just over a week removed from a 92-79 loss to the Jaguars in Mobile, Ala. ... UALR and South Alabama will be meeting in the Sun Belt Tournament for the seventh time, with the Jaguars having won all six of the previous meetings ... UALR is led by senior guard Solomon Bozeman, who was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year on Thursday ... Bozeman is just the third Trojan to receive the honor, joining former UALR standouts Derek Fisher (1995-96) and Muntrelle Dobbins (1996-97) ... Bozeman is averaging 15.8 points per game this year and leads the league in three-point shooting at 47.2 percent ... In conference play, Bozeman averaged a Sun Belt-best 17.7 ppg while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 52.5 percent from beyond the arc ... UALR enters the SBC Tournament ranked sixth nationally in three-point shooting at 40.7 percent (through games of 3/2).
The Jaguars have won three straight over the Trojans, and seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools to take a 23-12 lead in the all-time series ... Two of the seven wins in that stretch have come at the Sun Belt Tournament, as USA eliminated the Trojans in 2006 and 2009 ... USA is 6-0 all-time versus UALR in the Sun Belt Tournament ... UALR head coach Steve Shields is 3-7 all-time versus South Alabama.
LAST TIME OUT
Shannon Shorter scored 24 points to lead North Texas to a 72-69 victory over UALR at the Jack Stephens Center on Tuesday ... Shorter played all 40 minutes with Josh White sidelined (foot injury), finishing with team highs of 24 points and seven rebounds while going 8-of-11 from the field and 8-of-10 at the foul line ... UALR and North Texas went back-and-forth throughout the entire second half, with neither team leading by more than four points until the Mean Green took a 69-63 lead with 15.7 seconds remaining ... In a game featuring 13 tie scores and 16 lead changes, North Texas prevailed in the end behind a .477 field goal percentage and a 28-of-33 effort at the free-throw line (84.8 pct.) ... The Trojans shot just 37.1 percent on the night (7-of-22 from three-point range), but played to a +7 rebounding margin (38-to-31) and grabbed a season-high 19 offensive rebounds ... Eric Kibi led all players with eight rebounds and grabbed five offensive boards to help UALR to a 21-to-4 edge in second-chance points ... D'Andre Williams and Gus Leeper each scored 11 points off the bench to pace the UALR offense, with Leeper adding a season-high six boards ... North Texas took the lead for good at 63-61 on a bucket by Shorter, who sank 2-of-3 foul shots moments later after drawing contact on a three-point attempt to put the Mean Green ahead by four, 67-63 ... UALR got the ball back with 36.1 seconds remaining, but missed two three-point attempts on the ensuing possession to help NT escape with the win.
A LOOK AT THE JAGUARS
South Alabama (12-15) closed out the regular season by winning two-of-three, including a 92-79 victory over UALR at the Mitchell Center on Feb. 24 - the most points allowed by the Trojans all season ... South Alabama shot 55.0 percent from the field in the win over UALR (63.3 pct. in the second half), and played to a +13 rebounding margin ... Seven different players scored in double figures for the Jaguars, led by a team-high 19 points from Martino Brock ... A 6-5 sophomore, Brock ranks seventh in the Sun Belt in scoring (14.2 ppg) and is third in steals per game (1.7) ... Redshirt freshman Augustine Rubit is averaging a double-double on the year and was named Third Team All-Sun Belt on Thursday ... The 6-6 forward is averaging 13.3 points and a Sun Belt-best 11.1 rebounds per game, and ranks third in the SBC with a .565 field goal percentage ... The Jaguars average a Sun Belt-high 13.5 offensive rebounds per game, led by 4.6 from Rubit ... USA ranks 11th in the SBC in field goal percentage defense (.456), but held UALR to a .408 clip on Feb. 24.
LAST MEETING WITH USA
South Alabama shot 55.0 percent from the field on its way to a 92-79 win over UALR at the Mitchell Center (2/24/11) ... Seven different players scored in double figures for the Jaguars, led by 19 points from Martino Brock ... Augustine Rubit added an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double to lead South Alabama to a +13 margin on the glass (45-to-32) ... The Jaguars took a 41-29 lead into the break and shot 63.3 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes to dash any hopes of a Trojan comeback ... UALR fell behind by as many as 26 points in the second half, 60-34, with 15:00 remaining, but was able to draw within eight, 75-67, with 5:15 to go ... With its lead cut to eight, South Alabama received a big three pointer from Antione Lundy, who followed up his trey with an offensive putback on a missed free throw moments later to extend USA's lead back to 14 points, 81-67 ... Solomon Bozeman led all players with 20 points off 8-of-13 shooting, and added five assists, three rebounds and three steals ... South Alabama scored 48 of its 92 points in the paint, and enjoyed a 26-to-6 scoring edge in fastbreak points ... UALR shot just 40.8 percent from the field (33.3 pct. in the first half) and made a season-low 13 trips to the foul line.
BOZEMAN NAMED SUN BELT PLAYER OF THE YEAR; 1ST TEAM ALL-SBC
Senior Solomon Bozeman was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year as well as a First Team All-Sun Belt selection on Thursday, as voted on by the league's coaches and media members ... Bozeman is averaging 15.8 points per game this season and leads the Sun Belt with a .472 three-point field goal percentage ... In conference play, Bozeman averaged a Sun Belt-best 17.7 ppg while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 52.5 percent from beyond the arc ... He scored in double figures in 27 of UALR's 31 games, with eight 20-point performances, and led the Trojans in scoring 18 times ... The Magnolia, Ark.-native scored a career-high 26 points against both ULM (1/13) and Florida Atlantic (1/22) ... He is shooting 78.6 percent from the foul line this season and ranks 13th nationally with 173 made free throws (through games of 3/2) ... Bozeman is just the third player in UALR history to earn Sun Belt Player of the Year honors, joining former Trojan standouts Derek Fisher (1995-96) and Muntrelle Dobbins (1996-97), and is the first UALR player to earn First Team All-Sun Belt honors since Shane Edwards (2008-09).
UALR SWEEPS SUN BELT PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
UALR added two pieces of hardware to the school's trophy case on Thursday, as Trojan seniors Solomon Bozeman and Chastity Reed were named the Sun Belt's Men's and Women's Basketball Players of the Year ... Reed is the only player in UALR history, male or female, to score over 2,000 career points ... The selection of Bozeman and Reed marks just the fifth time in Sun Belt Conference history that the Sun Belt Player of the Year awards went to the same school ... The last time it happened was in 2007-08 when the awards went to Western Kentucky's Courtney Lee and Crystal Kelly ... Schools to sweep the SBC Player of the Year awards are listed below:
• YEAR - Sun Belt Men's and Women's Basketball Player of the Year, School
• 1991-92 - Ron Ellis and Shantel Hardison, Louisiana Tech
• 1993-94 - Jeff Clifton and Shyla Tucker, Arkansas State
• 1999-00 - Gerrod Henderson and Betty Lennox, Louisiana Tech
• 2007-08 - Courtney Lee and Crystal Kelly, Western Kentucky
• 2010-11 - Solomon Bozeman and Chastity Reed, UALR
TROJANS RANKED 6TH NATIONALLY IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
UALR heads into the Sun Belt Conference Tournament ranked sixth nationally in three-point shooting at 40.7 percent (through games of 3/2) ... Northern Arizona currently leads the country at 43.1 percent ... Senior Solomon Bozeman leads the league in three-point shooting at 47.2 percent (60-of-127), and is attempting to become the second-straight Trojan to lead the Sun Belt in the category as Ricky Davison (.514) paced the conference in 2009-10 ... Bozeman is one of five Trojans shooting at least 38.0 percent from three-point range this season, along with senior Alex Garcia-Mendoza (.407), freshman Chuck Guy (.394), senior Matt Mouzy (.390) and junior D'Andre Williams (.380) ... In league play, Bozeman connected on 52.5 percent of his three-point attempts (32-of-61), to help UALR shoot a Sun Belt-best 42.0 percent from beyond the arc.
TROJANS ENJOY RECORD SEASON FROM DOWNTOWN
UALR has already shattered two school records this season and could end up owning a third one at season's end ... The Trojans broke their first school record on Jan. 13 when they made a school-record 17 three pointers in an 81-50 win over ULM ... The ULM game was one of five times this season that UALR made over 10 three pointers in a game, helping the Trojans establish a new school record for three pointers in a season ... UALR has connected 217 times from three-point range this year, besting the old record of 207 held by the 2001-02 Trojans ... This year's team enters the Sun Belt Tournament with a .4071 three-point percentage (No. 6 in the nation), which puts it slightly ahead of the current record of .4065 by the 2000-01 Trojans.
MOUZY IN 13TH PLACE ON SUN BELT'S CAREER THREE-POINT CHART
Senior Matt Mouzy heads to Hot Springs in 13th place on the Sun Belt Conference's all-time list for career three pointers made with 221 ... With four three pointers at the SBC Tournament, Mouzy would pass both UNO's James Parlow (222 treys from 2004-08) and ASU's Antonio Harvey (224 treys from 1995-99) and move up to 11th place all-time ... Mouzy is shooting 39.0 percent from three-point range this season and leads the Trojans with 67 three-point field goals ... In conference play, Mouzy averaged a Sun Belt-best 2.7 made three pointers per game and shot 41.3 percent from beyond the arc (43-of-104) ... He sports a career three-point percentage of .390 (221-of-566) and has scored 942 points over 109 games as a Trojan (8.6 ppg) ... He cracked the SBC's all-time top-25 with an 8-for-10 effort from three-point range against Denver (2/3).
UALR AT THE SUN BELT TOURNAMENT
UALR is making its 20th appearance in the Sun Belt Tournament in 2011, and sports a 16-19 all-time record in SBC Tournament play ... Head coach Steve Shields is 4-7 all-time in the SBC Tourney ... UALR has never won the SBC Tournament title, and is 0-2 in two appearances in the championship game ... The Trojans have not won two tournament games since 1996, when they defeated UTPA and Jacksonville before losing to New Orleans, 57-56, in the championship game (3/5/96) ... UALR is 0-6 all-time versus South Alabama in the Sun Belt Tournament.
Senior Solomon Bozeman averaged a Sun Belt-best 17.7 points per game in conference play this season... The Magnolia, Ark.-native has scored 919 points in just two seasons at UALR, averaging 15.1 points per game over 61 games as a Trojan ... Combining his UALR and South Florida totals, Bozeman has scored 1,367 points during his collegiate career ... He has scored 491 total points this year alone, leaving him 43 shy of tying Stan Blackmon (2000-01) for 12th place on UALR's all-time single-season scoring list ... Blackmon was the last UALR player to score over 500 total points in a season ... Bozeman was limited to nine points in Tuesday's 72-69 loss to North Texas, snapping a string of 20-consecutive games with 10-or-more points.
Freshman Gus Leeper and junior Tramar Sutherland closed out the regular season with a bang on Tuesday night, as each player established a new personal high for points scored ... Sutherland scored nine points over a season-high 16 minutes against North Texas, going 3-for-6 from the field and 1-for-3 from three-point range (the first three pointer of his career) ... Leeper saw 19 minutes of action against the Mean Green and responded with season highs for points (11) and rebounds (six) ... The 6-9 forward had scored just 14 points over his 23 appearances prior to the NT game, but went 4-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from beyond the arc (the first three-point field goals of his career) ... Leeper started the three games prior to North Texas (his first starts of the year), but came off the bench against the Mean Green with it being Senior Night.
TAKING THE FREE ONES
Senior Solomon Bozeman went 2-for-4 at the foul line on Tuesday to bring his career total to 329 made free throws, leaving him three shy of tying Malik Dixon (1993-97) for fifth place on the school's all-time career list ... Bozeman also finds himself in second place on UALR's all-time single-season list with 173 made free throws ... Pete Myers holds the school record with 195 made free throws during the 1985-86 season ... Bozeman currently ranks 13th nationally with 173 made free throws (through games of 3/2).
• Seniors Solomon Bozeman and Matt Mouzy both find themselves inside UALR's all-time top-10 for career three-point percentage heading into the Sun Belt Tournament ... Bozeman is currently ranked seventh on the all-time list with a career three-point percentage of .400 (106-for-265), followed directly by Mouzy at 39.0 percent (221-of-566).
• Head coach Steve Shields is second on UALR's all-time list for coaching victories with 128 wins ... Mike Newell (1984-90) is UALR's all-time leader for coaching victories with 133.
The winner of Saturday's game advances to face Arkansas State on Sunday, March 6 at 8:45 p.m.