The University of Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears traveled different paths Saturday for victories at Natchitoches, La.
The Bears never trailed in stretching their winning streak to two with a 95-78 victory over Northwestern State.
The Sugar Bears, who had lost two of their last three games, came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the Lady Demons, 61-53, to gain a split on their two-game road swing..
The UCA men (12-11, 6-4), who broke a 16-game losing streak against Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday, upped their season record above .500 against the Demons (3-17, 0-9).
Jordan Howard scored 29 points but he had a balance attack behind him.
Mathieu Kamba added 14 points and DeAndre Jones and Hayden Koval 12 apiece. Koval had seven rebounds.
Thatch Unruh and Ethan Lee added eight points apiece.
UCA had control from the beginning with the largest lead at 25 with 19:22 left in the second half.
UCA shot 55.6 percent overall from the field and made 16 of 18 (88.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
“I thought we came in with the right mindset,’ said UCA head coach Russ Pennell. “We knew that this team (NSU), although wounded, still has some good pieces. And I thought early on, our defense was good. We turned them over a little bit and we were shooting the ball extremely well early on. The only thing I was a little concerned about was we had some careless turnovers. We had 10 turnovers, and four of them were just our blunders and not really what their defense did.
“The second half... it’s tough to play with a lead. And you can warn your guys, you can talk about it, but that team in the white today ( NSU), they’ve got pride. They’re not going to quit, they’re not going to back down. So I knew that we’d have to hold on. And I thought for the most part, it never did get to a place where we got rattled or shook. We just kind of made plays where we needed to."
The UCA women (15-6, 8-2) outscored the Lady Demons, 20-10, in the fourth quarter after the hosts had taken a 43-41 lead after three.
Kamry Orr led with 16 points. Taylor Baudoin, five of seven from the field, added 14. Kierra Jordan had 11 points and 10 rebounds. UCA led, 11-4, in second-chance points.
The Sugar Bears' biggest lead was 13 points in the first half.
Both UCA teams will take a week off before playing Southeastern Louisiana at Hammond.