GM16 // UALR (8-7, 2-2 SBC) vs. Western Kentucky (10-5, 4-0 SBC)
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2012 • 7:30 PM (CST)
Little Rock, Ark. • Jack Stephens Center (5,600)
TV: ESPN3/ESPN Full Court/WKYU (Bowling Green, Ky.)
TV Talent: Randy Lee (PXP) & Hal Schmitt (Analyst)
Radio: KABZ - 103.7 FM
Radio Talent: Ray Tucker (PXP) & Pat Bradley (Analyst)
Live Video: UALRTrojans.com
Series (Overall): WKU leads, 34-10
Series (in Little Rock): WKU leads, 14-5
Current Streak: WKU, 8 wins
Last Meeting: 3/4/12 - WKU, 68-63
Shields Record vs. WKU: 4-11
2012-13 Record: 8-7
Home Record: 7-1
Head Coach: Steve Shields (10th year)
Record at UALR: 155-135
Career Record: Same
UALR Statistical Leaders
Points: Will Neighbour (11.5)
Rebounds: Will Neighbour (6.8)
Assists: John Gillon (2.5)
Steals: Will Neighbour (1.3)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
2012-13 Record: 10-5
Road Record: 2-3
Head Coach: Ray Harper (2nd year)
Record at WKU: 21-13
Career Record: 363-76 (14th year)
WKU Statistical Leaders
Points: TJ Price (15.2)
Rebounds: George Fant (6.6)
Assists: Jamal Crook (4.5)
Steals: Jamal Crook (1.7)
Blocks: Teeng Akol (1.4)
Blocks: Javes/White (1.3)
Live Stats: UALRTrojans.com
• UALR returns to the friendly confines of the Jack Stephens Center for Thursday's matchup with WKU. UALR is 7-1 at home this season and 99-41 in the tenure of head coach Steve Shields.
• The Trojans enter Thursday's game having lost three straight and four of their last five.
• The last time these two teams met, WKU upset No. 2-seed UALR, 68-63, in the opening round of the 2012 SBC Tournament.
• A win Thursday would give Shields home victory No. 100 in nine-plus seasons at UALR.
• UALR's defensive field goal percentage (40.9 percent) ranks third in the Sun Belt, and its three-point defensive field goal percentage (28.6 percent) ranks second in the league.
• UALR is 8-0 on the season when holding opponents under 70 points and 0-7 when surrendering 70 or more.
• UALR has held eight of its opponents below 40 percent shooting and is 6-2 in such games.
• Under Shields, UALR is 135-53 when holding opponents below 70 points and 81-20 when keeping opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field.
• Junior Will Neighbour leads UALR in scoring (11.5 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg) and steals (19).
• Sophomore Michael Javes sits in eighth place all-time at UALR with 64 career blocked shots.
• Freshman John Gillon sports the top free throw percentage in the Sun Belt (84.5 percent).
• UALR outrebounded Louisiana-Lafayette 44-to-32 and committed just 10 turnovers, but the Ragin' Cajuns finished the game shooting 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field and hit 13-of-24 shots in the second half to claim a 79-70 victory over the Trojans Saturday night at the Cajundome.
• Neighbour collected his fifth career double-double with 17 points and a career-best 14 rebounds.
• The Trojans ended the game shooting 24-of-30 (80 percent) from the foul line, but finished the night shooting just 31.3 percent from the field (21-of-67) and 20 percent from three-point range (4-of-20).
• Louisiana-Lafayette finished the night shooting 49.1 percent from the field (27-of-55) and 36.8 percent from three-point range (7-of-19).
• The Ragin' Cajuns knocked down 18-of-25 free throws (72 percent), held a 32-to-22 advantage in points in the paint and led 13-to-8 in points off turnovers.
About Western Kentucky
• Western Kentucky enters Thursday's matchup with a 10-5 overall record and a perfect 4-0 record in Sun Belt play. The Hilltoppers have now won back-to-back games after suffering three-straight losses.
• Currently leading the SBC's East Division at 4-0, WKU sports the top rebounding margin in the Sun Belt (+5.9) and is shooting 43.4 percent from the floor on the season.
• WKU's scoring defense ranks second in the conference (64.5 ppg), while its scoring margin (+3.5) ranks third in the league.
• The Hilltoppers are led on offense by Preseason All-Sun Belt selection T.J. Price, who is averaging 15.2 ppg and 5.1 rpg while shooting 38.3 percent from three-point range. Forward George Fant is averaging 12.1 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds per contest.
All-Time Against the Hilltoppers
• WKU has won eight straight against the Trojans and leads 34-10 in the all-time series, including 14-5 in games played in Little Rock.
• UALR's last win came on Jan. 17, 2007, when the Trojans beat WKU 71-69 in Little Rock.
• The last time these two teams met, Western Kentucky scored 17-unanswered points late in the second half to rally from an 11-point deficit and upset second-seeded UALR by a 68-63 final in quarterfinals of the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament in Hot Springs, Ark.
• The Trojans led 56-45 with 5:51 remaining, but endured a five-minute scoring drought which WKU used to rattle off 17-unanswered points as it closed out the game with a 23-7 run to eliminate the West Division champs.
• Head coach Steve Shields is 4-11 all-time against the Hilltoppers.
• UALR will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak when it faces WKU on Thursday.
• Over its last three games, UALR is allowing 77.0 points per game and allowing its opponents to shoot 44.0 percent from the field and 36.1 percent shooting from three-point range.
• UALR is averaging 68.3 points per game but shooting just 37.6 percent from the field over its last three games.
• Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt selection Will Neighbour posted his fifth career double-double with 17 points and a career-best 14 rebounds at Louisiana-Lafayette (12/29/12). UALR is now 3-2 is Neighbour's five career double-double games.
• Neighbour has reached double figures in scoring ten times in 15 games this season.
• Neighbour currently ranks eighth in the Sun Belt in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and is averaging 11.5 ppg while shooting 48.5 percent from the field.
• In SBC games only, Neighbour's numbers jump to 13.8 ppg and 10.0 rpg. His 10.0 rebounds per game rank second in SBC-games-only, while his 17 offensive rebounds in league games (4.3 per game) lead all players.
• Neighbour has led UALR in scoring six times this season and has led the team in rebounding in eight games.
• Neighbour has two other double-doubles on the season: a 14-point, 11-rebound effort vs. Troy (11/29/12) and a 13-point, 13-rebound effort vs. UT Martin (11/9/12).
• In 43 career games, Neighbour has reached double figures in scoring 25 times, grabbed 5+ rebounds 28 times and blocked 2+ shots 10 times.
Gillon Continues Stellar Play
• Freshman John Gillon ranks second on UALR in scoring (11.3 ppg), and leads the Trojans in assists (2.5 apg), three-point shooting (40.0 percent), made three pointers (24) and free throw shooting (84.5 percent).
• Gillon's 84.5 percent shooting clip at the foul line leads the Sun Belt Conference.
• Gillon has reached double figures in scoring seven times and has led the Trojans in scoring six times on the season.
• The Houston, Texas-native has knocked down three treys in four different games this season.
• Gillon's 22 points against UT Martin (11/9/12) were the most by a UALR freshman in their college debut since the Trojans moved to Division I in 1979, a record previously held by the UALR's all-time leading scorer, James Scott (1987-91).
• Redshirt freshman James White is averaging 9.1 points and 4.8 boards on the season.
• White's shooting percentage of 50.9 ranks sixth in the Sun Belt Conference.
• UALR is 6-2 in White's eight starts this season.
• White's 20 blocked shots tie him with teammate Michael Javes for the team lead and eighth in the Sun Belt Conference.
• White has reached double figures in scoring in seven games and blocked 2+ shots in six games this season. White has blockd at least one shot in 13 of 15 games this season.
• UALR is 6-1 when White scores 10+ points and 4-2 when he blocks 2+ shots.
• The Jonesboro, Ga.-native has grabbed 5+ rebounds in nine games this year and UALR is 6-3 in those games.
• Sophomore Michael Javes sits in eighth place all-time at UALR with 64 blocks in 45 career games.
• Javes has 18 multi-block games in his career with the Trojans, and UALR is 11-7 in Javes' multi-block games.
• Javes has blocked 2+ shots in seven different games this season.
• Javes' 20 blocks this season currently tie him for eighth in the Sun Belt.
• Javes' 44 blocked shots as a freshman were the seventh-most in a single season in school history.
Double Figure Scoring
• UALR is 7-2 on the season when at least three Trojans finish in double figures.
Keep it Under 70
• UALR is 0-7 on the season when allowing 70+ points. The Trojans are 8-0 when holding opponents under 70 points.
• UALR's scoring defense (65.7 ppg) currently ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference.
• UALR's defensive field goal percentage (40.9 percent) ranks third in the Sun Belt.
• The Trojans' three-point defense (28.6 percent) ranks second in the SBC.
• The Trojans are 6-0 this season and 81-13 under Steve Shields when holding opponents under 60 points.
• UALR is 6-2 this season and 81-20 under Shields when holding its opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field.
• UALR is 7-1 this season when outscoring its opponent at the free throw line and 1-0 when free throws are tied.
• Conversely, UALR is 0-6 when it is outscored at the free throw line.
• UALR is averaging 15.7 points per game from the foul line.
• The Trojans are shooting 66.6 percent from the line and have shot 353 free throws on the season, compared to 323 attempts by their opponents.
• UALR is averaging 15.7 turnovers per game this season and currently has an even turnover margin through 15 games.
• In games played at the Jack Stephens Center, UALR is averaging 14.3 turnovers per game and sports a +3.8 turnover margin.
• UALR has committed fewer or the same number of turnovers than its opponent in ten of 15 games this season, including all eight home games.
• The Trojans are 7-1 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponents this year, 1-1 when turnovers are even and 0-5 when committing more turnovers than their opponents.
Spreading the Wealth
• UALR's 12.7 assists per game this season currently rank second in the Sun Belt.
• Freshman John Gillon leads the Trojans at 2.5 assists per game.
• UALR is averaging 14.6 assists per game in eight home games this season.
Osse Coming on Strong
• Freshman Kemy Osse finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two steals and no turnovers in his first career start at South Alabama (12/22/12).
• Osse has appeared in all 15 games, and has just six turnovers in 141 minutes of action this season.
• Sophomore Taggart Lockhart has seen his minutes increase to 23.5 per game this year, up from 15.5 as a freshman in 2011-12.
• Lockhart set new career highs in points (14), FGM (6) and FGA (11) in UALR's win vs. Jacksonville (11/21/12).
• Lockhart is averaging 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds and is shooting 43.1 percent from the field.
• Lockhart has grabbed 5+ rebounds three times this season and eight times in his career.
• Sophomore Gus Leeper recently returned to the UALR lineup after missing 10 games due to a leg injury following the Trojans' season opener vs. UT Martin (11/9/12).
• Since returning to the lineup against Tulsa on Dec. 15, Leeper is averaging 10.5 minutes per game, and most recently grabbed four rebounds in a season-high 18 minutes at Louisiana-Lafayette (12/29/12).
• UALR will continue Sun Belt play and the search for its first true road win of the season at Troy on Saturday, Jan. 5.