SAN ANTONIO — The Central Arkansas Sugar Bears saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end in San Antonio on Wednesday, falling 71-66 to the UTSA Roadrunners at the Convocation Center.
The game came down to the wire, with the Sugar Bears (17-6, 7-3 Southland) having a shot to tie in the final 10 seconds. With UCA trailing two, Megan Herbert the game tied at 66 with just under a minute remaining after an offensive rebound and a putback. The Roadrunners (13-9, 7-2) reclaimed the lead on a pair of free throws from Whitney York after Westin Taylor was whistled for her fifth foul with 35 seconds to go.
The Sugar Bears had a chance to tie or take the lead on their next possession, but couldn’t find the basket on two shots and ended up turning the ball over on an errant pass out of bounds. After a foul, UTSA’s Ashleigh Franklin hit the first of two free throws to give the Roadrunners a 69-66 lead. Herbert corralled Franklin’s miss on the second, but the Sugar Bears were unable to tie when Britney Gowans’ 3-pointer missed the mark. UCA was forced to foul once more and Franklin hit both with 2.9 seconds left to clinch the victory.
“We didn’t execute all night,” UCA head coach Matt Daniel said. “They didn’t throw any surprises at us, we just didn’t execute and didn’t guard their penetration hardly at all. But we had a chance late in the game and we threw a ball out of bounds and missed a putback. I don’t want to say we let one slip away, but we had a shot to win at the end and came up short.”
The teams battled to a 30-all tie in the first half until a three-point play from Jones with 39.6 seconds left gave the Roadrunners a 33-30 lead at the half. They led by six early in the second half, but the Sugar
Bears went on a quick 7-0 run to take the lead 42-41 with 14:20 to go.
Nakeia Guiden sparked the run, scoring 11 points in the first nine minutes of the second half. From that point, neither team led by more than four until the final free throws of the game.
Herbert led UCA with game-highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds for her 23rd consecutive double-double, shooting 8 of 11 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line. Guiden added 18 points, with 17 coming in the second half and led the Sugar Bears with four steals. Gowans had 12 and a career-high seven rebounds, and led the team with three assists and two blocks and had two steals.
Typically on the positive side of the free throw battle, the Sugar Bears were outscored by 12 at the line on Wednesday as the Roadrunners were 28 of 31 (90.3 percent) while UCA was 16 of 19 (84.2 percent). Coming into the game with the largest rebounding margin in the league, the Sugar Bears were outrebounded 46-44 by UTSA.
The Sugar Bears fall to 0-4 all time against the Roadrunners and are now 3-3 against Texas teams in Southland play this season.
UCA will return to the Farris Center on Saturday when they host Northwestern State at 2 p.m. in the WBCA Pink Zone game, a breast cancer awareness benefit game in partnership with Conway Regional Hospital.