UALR TROJANS (19-16)
vs. UNC ASHEVILLE BULLDOGS (19-13)
Tues., March 15, 2011 - 5:30 PM (Central)
Dayton, Ohio. (University of Dayton Arena)
TV: truTV (Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr/Tracy Wolfson)
Radio: The game can be heard live on KABZ 103.7 FM
Online: Live audio/video stream available at www.cbssports.com
The Series: 0-0
Streak: first meeting
Last Meeting: n/a
UALR - Steve Shields, 8th season at UALR (Baylor, 1988)
Record at UALR: 132-111 (.543) Career record: 208-162 (.562) Record vs. Ash: 0-0
ASH - Eddie Biedenbach, 15th year at UNC Asheville (N.C. State, 1968)
Record at school: 215-231 (.482) Career record: 244-282 (.464)
UALR (19 -16) returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990 when it takes on Big South Conference champion UNC Asheville (19-13) on Tuesday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. (CT) ... The Trojans won four games in four days at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the No. 5 seed out of the West Division to capture the school's first-ever SBC Tournament title ... UALR defeated North Texas, 64-63, in the title game (3/8) as senior Solomon Bozeman delivered the game-winning three pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining ... The 2011 Sun Belt Player of the Year, Bozeman was also named the SBC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, making him the league's first men's basketball player to receive both honors in the same year since Western Kentucky's Chris Marcus in 2001 ... Bozeman averaged 22.0 points per game during the SBC Tournament and heads into Tuesday's matchup ranked sixth nationally with a Sun Belt-record 217 made free throws ... UALR was 0-2 in the SBC Championship game prior to the win over NT, and had not appeared in the title game since 1996 - Derek Fisher's senior year ... UALR head coach Steve Shields is just the second coach to lead UALR to the NCAA Tournament, joining former coach Mike Newell, who led the Trojans to three NCAA Tournament appearances in six years at UALR (1984-90) ... Shields heads into Tuesday's matchup with UNC Asheville with 132 wins as head coach of the Trojans, one victory shy of tying Newell as the winningest coach in school history ... Though UALR is making its first NCAA Tournament under Shields, the Trojans have known a great deal of success during his eight-year tenure ... Shields has led the Trojans to four Sun Belt Conference Division Championships in his eight years as head coach, the most by any Sun Belt school during that stretch ... UALR is 1-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... UALR's lone NCAA victory came in 1986, as the No. 14-seed Trojans upset No. 3-seed Notre Dame, 90-83, in Minneapolis, Minn. (3/14/86) ... UALR's last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 1990, with the Trojans losing to eventual national champion UNLV, 102-72.
UALR and UNC Asheville will be meeting for the first time on Tuesday ... UALR is 1-0 all-time versus current members of the Big South Conference, having defeated High Point, 86-82, on Dec. 18, 1998 ... The Trojans are 6-1 in neutral site games this season.
LAST TIME OUT
Solomon Bozeman hit a three pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift the Trojans to a 64-63 win over North Texas in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game at Summit Arena (3/8) ... Bozeman's three pointer helped the Trojans overcome a seven-point deficit with just 1:42 left in the game, and gave UALR it's first Sun Belt Tournament title in school history ... Bozeman, the 2011 Sun Belt Player of the Year, scored a game-high 20 points off 6-of-12 shooting to earn the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award ... NT appeared on its way to repeating as Sun Belt Conference Tournament champions, after breaking a 52-all tie game with seven-unanswered points to go on top 59-52 with 1:42 remaining ... Josh White had a hand in all seven points, as he assisted on a basket by Kedrick Hogans, fed Shannon Shorter for a three pointer, and then scored on a layup ... Trailing 59-52, Bozeman sank a pair of free throws to bring UALR within five, and then D'Andre Williams picked White's pocket at midcourt and drew a foul on the play ... Williams knocked down both of his free throws, and then sank two more moments later to make it a one-point ballgame, 59-58 ... With its lead down to one, White came through for NT again, delivering a deep three pointer from the wing to put the Mean Green on top 62-58 with 17.6 seconds remaining ... The Trojans answered immediately, as Matt Mouzy came off a screen and delivered a three pointer off an assist from Bozeman to make it a 62-61 contest with 7 seconds to go .. Tristan Thompson was fouled after NT got the ball back, but the First Team All-SBC selection made just 1-of-2 free throws to set up Bozeman's heroics ... Bozeman pushed the ball up the floor and created some space on Shorter before letting the game-winner fly ... The Trojans limited NT to a .404 field goal percentage on the night, including a 10-of-30 effort in the second half (33.3 pct.) ... White led the Mean Green with 17 points off 7-of-12 shooting and five assists, while George Odufuwa added a 10-point, 17-rebound double-double ... UALR was outrebounded 40-to-26, but racked up 14 assists against a season-low five turnovers, and converted 15-of-16 free-throw attempts (93.8 percent).
TROJANS CLAIM SCHOOL'S FIRST SUN BELT TOURNAMENT TITLE
UALR's 64-63 win over North Texas in the Sun Belt Championship game gave the Trojans' the school's first-ever Sun Belt Tournament title and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1990 ... UALR was 0-2 in the SBC Tournament title game prior to the win over North Texas, having tasted defeat in both the 1995 and 1996 championship games ... UALR dropped an 82-79 decision to Western Kentucky in the 1995 championship game (3/7/95), and suffered a 57-56 loss to New Orleans in 1996 (3/5/96) ... The 1996 Trojans were led by former coach Wimp Sanderson and senior guard Derek Fisher, and lost to UNO on a last-second shot ... UALR, which joined the Sun Belt Conference prior to the 1991-92 season, earned an automatic bid in its three other NCAA Tournament appearances, winning the Trans America Athletic Conference Tournament (now Atlantic Sun) in 1986, 1989 and 1990.
DEFENSE ... DEFENSE ...
Defense was the key to UALR capturing the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Championship, as the Trojans held their four opponents to a combined .389 field goal percentage and just 58.9 points per game ... UALR limited Arkansas State to a .333 field goal percentage and Middle Tennessee to a .359 clip, and is now 14-1 on the year when holding opponents below 40 percent from the field ... The Trojans averaged just 9.5 turnovers per game during the SBC Tournament, while forcing the opposition into 14.5 turnovers per game (+5.0 turnover margin) ... UALR leads the Sun Belt in both three-point field goal percentage defense (.333) and turnover margin (+2.00) ... The Trojans rank 38th nationally in turnovers per game (11.8) and 48th in turnover margin.
"DEJA VU, ALL OVER AGAIN"
Head coach Steve Shields knows a little something about returning teams to the big stage after a long layoff, having snapped a 22-year NJCAA Tournament drought at the junior college level and now a 21-year NCAA Tournament drought at UALR ... Prior to joining the Trojans as an assistant coach under Porter Moser for the 2000-01 season, Shields was the head coach at McLennan (Texas) Community College, where he led the Highlanders to the Region V Championship in 1998 and a spot in the NJCAA Tournament ... McLennan had not been to the national tournament since 1976, when it was led by future Detroit Piston Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson ... UALR's 2011 NCAA Tournament appearance is the school's first since 1990.
EXPERIENCE AT THE DANCE
Though none of the Trojans bring any NCAA Tournament experience into Tuesday's matchup, the same cannot be said for UALR's coaching staff ... Assistant coach Joe Kleine played in three-consecutive NCAA Tournaments at the University of Arkansas from 1982-85 ... Kleine, the No. 6 overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 1985 NBA Draft, helped the Razorbacks to a 2-3 record in the NCAA Tournament ... Assistant coach Charles Cunningham has been a part of three NCAA Tournament teams - two with Minnesota (1997 and 1999) and one with Murray State (1995) ... The 1997 Minnesota squad advanced to the Final Four.
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 last week, as voted on by the league's coaches and media members ... Bozeman is averaging 16.5 points per game this season and leads the Sun Belt with a .464 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 has scored in double figures in 31 of UALR's 35 games, with eleven 20-point performances, and has led the Trojans in scoring 22 times ... The Magnolia, Ark.-native scored a career-high 28 points in UALR's 82-68 win over South Alabama in the SBC Tournament (3/5) ... He is shooting 80.4 percent from the foul line this season and ranks 6th nationally with 217 made free throws (through games of 3/13) ... 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) ... In addition to his Sun Belt honors, Bozeman received All-District VII honors from the USBWA and First Team All-District 24 accolades from the NABC ... Bozeman averaged 22.0 points per game during the Sun Belt Tournament to claim the Most Outstanding Player award.
UALR SWEEPS SUN BELT PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
UALR added two pieces of hardware to the school's trophy case this year, 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 WKU's Courtney Lee and Crystal Kelly.
TROJANS 14TH NATIONALLY IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
UALR enters the NCAA Tournament ranked 14th nationally in three-point shooting at 39.8 percent (through games of 3/13) ... Over the last five games, however, the Trojans are shooting a combined 30.6 percent from beyond the arc (23-of-75) ... Senior Solomon Bozeman leads the Sun Belt Conference in three-point shooting at 46.4 percent (64-of-138), and is attempting to become the second-straight Trojan to lead the league in the category as Ricky Davison (.514) paced the conference in 2009-10 ... 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 ENJOYING 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 year 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 233 times from three-point range this year, besting the old record of 207 held by the 2001-02 Trojans ... This year's team enters Tuesday's game with a .398 three-point percentage (14th nationally), which puts it behind the school record of .4065 held by the 2000-01 Trojans.
MOUZY IN 11TH PLACE ON SUN BELT'S CAREER THREE-POINT CHART
Senior Matt Mouzy made two three pointers in UALR's 64-63 win over North Texas in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship game to bring his career total to 226 made three pointers and take sole possession of 11th place on the SBC's all-time chart ... Mouzy entered the NT game tied with ASU's Antonio Harvey (224 treys from 1995-99) for 11th place all-time ... Jacksonville's John Knox (1995-98) sits 10th on the SBC's all-time list with 235 career three-point field goals ... Mouzy is shooting 38.7 percent from three-point range this season and leads the Trojans with 72 three-point field goals (10th on UALR's all-time single-season list) ... 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 (226-of-580) and has scored 963 points over 113 games as a Trojan (8.5 ppg) ... He cracked the SBC's all-time top-25 with an 8-for-10 effort from three-point range against Denver (2/3).
BOZEMAN REACHES 1,000-POINT MILESTONE IN SECOND YEAR AT UALR
Senior Solomon Bozeman became the 18th member of UALR's 1,000-point club with his 20-point performance in the SBC Championship game ... The Magnolia, Ark.-native has scored 1,007 points in just two seasons at UALR, averaging 15.5 points per game over 65 games as a Trojan ... Combining his UALR and South Florida totals, Bozeman has scored 1,456 points during his collegiate career ... The 2011 Sun Belt Player of the Year, Bozeman averaged a Sun Belt-best 17.7 points per game in conference play this season ... He has scored 579 total points this year alone, which is good enough for fifth place on UALR's all-time single-season scoring list ... Bozeman, who has 11 20-point games under his belt this season, needs to score five points in Tuesday's game against UNC Asheville to pass Johnnie Bell (1987-89) and Tom Butler (1968-71) for 16th place on the school's all-time scoring list.
BOZEMAN BREAKS UALR AND SUN BELT FREE THROW RECORDS
Senior Solomon Bozeman went 7-for-8 at the foul line against North Texas and enters the NCAA Tournament ranked sixth nationally with 217 made free throws ... Bozeman made 19-of-22 free throws in UALR's 65-56 win over Middle Tennessee (3/7) to establish new UALR and Sun Belt single-season records ... Former Trojan Pete Myers held the previous UALR record having made 195 in 1985-86 ... Charlotte's Cedric Maxwell was the Sun Belt's former record holder with 202 in 1976-77 ... The Magnolia, Ark.-native is currently fourth on UALR's all-time career list with 373 made free throws, which leaves him six shy of passing Mike Rivers (1980-84) for second place.
AT THE BUZZER...
• Though he is averaging just 1.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game on the year, Gus Leeper has made a major impact for UALR down the stretch ... The true freshman from Austin, Texas, has averaged 6.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field over UALR's last five games.
• Seniors Solomon Bozeman and Matt Mouzy both find themselves inside UALR's all-time top-10 for career three-point percentage heading into Tuesday's game ... Bozeman is currently ranked seventh on the all-time list with a career three-point percentage of .399 (110-for-277), followed directly by Mouzy at 39.0 percent (226-of-580).