The triumph was both a milestone and lucrative.
University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears recorded a benchmark victory and the best in coach Sandra Rushing’s two year tenure, stunning Ole Miss, 66-63, Sunday in Oxford.
For the non-conference game against a Southeastern Conference team, UCA collected $20,000 for the women’s program.
"I’m so excited; this is huge for our program and this young team," said Rushing, who has 420 of them during her career. "I’m so happy and proud for them, and our fans were great today and I really don’t even know what to say. I’m just really, really proud."
After the Sugar Bears trailed by 10 at the half, Courtney Duever, who had a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for her 16th career double-double, scored two baskets — the second set up after a key defensive rebound by Maggie Proffitt on an errant shot from the Rebels’ Gracie Frizzell — to extend the Sugar Bear lead to seven at 62-55 with 1:08 to play.
Ole Miss sent Proffitt to the line with 17 seconds to go, and after she missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Rebels had possession with a chance to regain the lead — but Ortiz misfired on a 3-pointer with 10 seconds to play and Tia Faleru missed on her chance after grabbing the offensive rebound. Duever corralled Faleru’s miss, went to the line for a pair of free throws with just over a second remaining, made both and the Sugar Bears left with a benchmark win for a young team with nine newcomers.
Rice, who with Duever are the only players remaining who were a part of the Sugar Bears’ win over Alabama in 2011, found more satisfaction in Sunday’s win than the previous triumph against an SEC foe.
"This was a really big win for our program," she said. "Definitely bigger than the last one, just because that team was so experienced and it was at home. To come on the road with so many fresh faces, shows how talented we are, that we’re relentless and willing to battle after being down at halftime, and shows what the future holds for the Sugar Bears. I’m really proud of the freshmen, they stepped up and battled tonight."
The Sugar Bears will host crosstown foe Central Baptist at 5:30 p.m. Thursdayt in the Farris Center in the first half of a doubleheader with the UCA volleyball team.
STATE CROSS COUNTRY
Faulkner teams had some high placements Saturday in state cross country meets at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.
Vilonia’s boys finished second to Harrison in Class 5A with Greenbrier eighth. The Vilonia girls finished third behind champion Little Rock Christian and De Queen.
Conway’s boys and girls were both 11th in 7A with Rogers winning the boys title and Fayetteville the girls title.
Conway Christian finished 13th in 2A/1A girls with Acorn winning the title.
Vilonia’s Zachary Rail won the 5A boys title in 16:14.9 over the 5K course. Jason Rail ws sixth in 17:18.6. Hunter Otts was 16th in 17:51.5.
Averi Ratliff of Vilonia was ninth among 5A girls while Stephanie King was 13th.
Austyn Sitzes led the effort on the Greenbrier boys in 18:42, followed by Rayce Baker(18:59) and Ryan Beegle(19:23). Out of 133 runners, the trio finished 36th, 46th, and 55th, respectively Gabe Bray finished next for the Panthers followed by Jared McKenzie to round out the scoring. Also running for the Panthers was Caleb Galloway, Hunter Glover, and Andrew Cook
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — The most successful season in program history came to an end for the Hendrix College volleyball team in the Southern Athletic Association Tournament finals.
The Warriors (20-12) lost to the top seed and host Berry College (24-7) 25-21, 25-13, 16-25, 18-25, 25-11.
Hendrix finished with a program record 20 wins and had the only winning season in the program’s history.
Freshman outside hitter MC Rogers, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the Warriors with 19 kills and hit .425 to go with four blocks. Senior outside Katie Burchfield, also named to the all-tourney team, had 18 kills and nine digs. Freshman right side Natalie Masten came up with six kills, hit .462 and had four blocks as well.
The match was the final in the career for two Warrior seniors — Burchfield and Calhoun.
The Hendrix College men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams fell to Rhodes College 149-39 in a combined duel at Bob Courtway Pool on Saturday.
The Warriors won four events.
For the women, sophomore Caroline Forbes won the 100-yard freestyle in 56.60 seconds. She was also second in the 50 freestyle in 25.44.
Senior Jo Claire Robertson took first with a time of 1:02.57 in the 100 backstroke. Sophomore Bayley Krell won the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.17.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Forbes, Krell, junior Taylor Keplin and sophomore Sawrah McHugh was second with a time of 4:17.06.
For the men, senior John Byford won the 100 butterfly in 55.63 seconds. Freshman Troy Koser was second in the event in 59.06. Koser was also second with a time of 5:20.50 in the 500 freestyle. Byford finished second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.05
Byford, Koser, Gill and senior Samuel Maynard finished second in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:42.48.
The Faulkner County Falcons 16U homeschool basketball team beat Hot Springs CMA last week, 40-32.
Aaron Griffin led all scorers with 12 points. Evan Woodfin and Daniel Parrish each had five, Stephen McNair, Chris Benson, and Carson Wallace had four points each, Max Hippensteel had three points, Josh Baker had two points and Gabe Stanton ended the night with one point.
The 12U team remained undefeated by downing the Saline County Warriors, 20-14.
Andrew Griffin led the Falcons with 12 points. Eli Stanton had 6 and Caleb Floyd added another two. Grant McKissack had four rebounds and William Crockett and Matthew McNair added two each.