LITTLE ROCK – The Sun Belt Conference announced the upcoming 2014-15 league schedules for it men’s and women’s basketball programs on Thursday.
With the additions of Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, all Sun Belt men’s and women’s teams will return to a 20-game league schedule. The 2014-15 slate will again feature mirror scheduling. In a change from a year ago, this season’s schedule will include men’s and women’s doubleheaders for all 20 matchups.
Both UALR teams begin their seasons at the Jack Stephens Center on Tuesday, Dec. 30, when they play host to Louisiana. Next, the Trojans kick off 2015 by traveling to Georgia State for a Jan. 3 matchup. Both UALR teams then return home to face South Alabama on Jan. 5.
The Trojans play at Texas State on Jan. 8 before facing new league member Appalachian State at the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday, Jan. 10. The Trojans hit the road for their next two contests, taking on ULM in Monroe on Jan. 17 and South Alabama in Mobile on Monday, Jan. 19.
The remainder of UALR’s schedule will be limited to Thursday-Saturday contests, beginning with Troy (Jan. 22) and UT Arlington (Jan. 24) at the Jack Stephens Center. The following week, UALR hits the road for matchups at Arkansas State (Jan. 29) and Georgia Southern (Jan. 31).
UALR returns to the Jack Stephens Center to host ULM (Feb. 5) and Texas State (Feb. 7) before making the trip to Boone, North Carolina, to take on Appalachian State (Feb. 12). The Trojans then return home to host Georgia Southern (Feb. 14).
The Trojans host in-state rival Arkansas State on Feb. 19, and then turn around for a trip to Troy on Saturday, Feb. 21. Georgia State comes to Little Rock for matchups on Feb. 26 and both Trojan teams travel to UT Arlington on Feb. 28. Both teams close the regular season on Thursday, March 5 at Louisiana.
The 2015 Sun Belt Basketball Championships will again be held at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. The formats will be identical to last year’s, with the women’s tournament slated for March 11-14 and the men’s championship scheduled for March 12-15.
The UALR men bring back three starters and nearly 70 percent of its offense from a year ago. Last year’s squad set program records for blocked shots and free throw percentage and boasted the second-highest scoring offense in head coach Steve Shields’ tenure. Sophomore Josh Hagins’ 12.4 points per game were the most by a UALR underclassman since the 2001-02 season.
The UALR women's basketball team is coming off its seventh consecutive year of reaching the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals. The Trojans return four of their top five scorers from 2013-14 including Sun Belt Conference First Team member Taylor Gault who averaged 15.2 points per game last year. Top rebounders Kiera Clark and Shanity James are back as well, and UALR has also added three newcomers who will look to contribute right away.
Season ticket packages starting as low as $99 are on sale now through the UALR Ticket Office. For questions and information on how to purchase season tickets, contact Jonathan Feldman at 501.569.3382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.