University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball coach Corliss Williamson is both thankful and regretful that his players seemed to have a short memories.
It helps the Bears forget a defeat such as 107-72 Saturday at Lamar.
"But sometimes you hope they would remember the mistakes that they made," Williamson said at Monday’s Bearbackers luncheon.
The Bears, who are winless in five Southland Conference games, have established a trend.
"In the first half, we come out and have a chance to be in the game, then in the second half we have about an eight-minute period that the bottom falls out of the boat and we can’t score the basketball," Williamson said.
Playing Lamar at the culmination of a 5 1/2-day road trip, the Bears trailed Lamar 42-40 at the half. The second half began with a 22-2 run and were outscored 67-32 the second half.
"You don’t usually see 67 points in a half outside of the NBA," Williamson said. "But Lamar really shot well and we went about eight minutes and scored two points. And our two points were some of the hardest ever. We missed a 3, got an offensive rebound, missed a layup, got the rebound and hit the shot.
"We had talked about Lamar being an explosive team and they come at you with a wave of guards. We were mentally prepared and we came out with the right mindset."
The Bears return home Wednesday night to take on Southeastern Louisiana. "We’re looking at it as a winnable game if we approach it the right way," Williamson said.
Former Sugar Bear star Caronica Randle, now an assistant coach, substituted for head coach Matt Daniel, who was on a recruiting trip.
She noted the contrast after a 91-56 romp over Nicholls followed by a 60-56 loss Saturay to Lamar.
"Against Nicholls, I loved the team chemistry and the way we played together," Randle said. "That was evident on the court. What you don’t see is the locker room and seeing how the players love each other as sisters. I come from a large family and I like to see that kind of relationships."
The Sugar Bears jumped to a 20-5 lead against the Lady Cardinals then watched them chip away and overtake them in the final two minutes.
"We played Wednesday and they (the Lady Cardinals) had the night off, so they had more time to get their legs back," Randle said. "But that’s no excuse because we started 20-5 ... They saw they couldn’t handle us in man-to-man and when they switch to a 1-2-2 zone (that gave a 3-2 and 2-3 look at times), being long and athletic put us in a slump as far as hitting open shots. At the end of the game, it came down to their mental toughness."
UCA’s Megan Herbert had 21 points and 18 rebounds.
"But if you could have seen her tears afterward, you’d know she would have traded those points every day for a W," Randle said.
UCA takes to the road to play Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday.
"I’ve thinked we’ve learned from our small mistakes," Randle said.
DOUBLEHEADER SATURDAY: The Sugar Bears and Bears will have their only home doubleheader of the season Saturday beginning with the Sugar Bears’ game against McNeese State at 2 p.m. at the Farris Center. The Bears and Cowboys will play about 4:40 p.m.
UCA and McNeese will play a doubleheader later in the season at Lake Charles, La.
Because of the travel distance and logistics, UCA and McNeese officials arranged this year to play Saturday home-and-home doubleheaders. Brad Teague, UCA’s athletic director, said UCA will play Saturday doubleheaders, home and home, with McNeese State and Lamar next season.
After UTSA and Texas State leave the conference and the schedule is re-arranged for nine teams for 2013, Teague said an 18-game round-robin schedule is likely with Saturday doubleheaders each time.
Saturday will also be Faith and Family Day at UCA. Matt Jordan, marketing director, said invitations have been sent out to all area churches and religious organizations for the special promotion involving their members. UCA’s "Kids Zone" will also be expanded with several games and crafts offered.