LUBBOCK, Texas — The University of Central Arkansas women’s basketball team jumped to a big lead early and led wire-to-wire as they handled the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 73-55 Friday at the World Vision Basketball Invitational at Texas Tech.
The Sugar Bears (4-0) scored 20 of the game’s first 22 points and had a 26-4 lead midway through the first half, then maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game and scored their first-ever win over ULM.
"I’m really, really pleased," UCA coach Matt Daniel said. "That group we just played is really athletic and scrappy and hungry for their first win. They’re going to get one, and I’m glad it wasn’t against us today."
After leading 40-27 at halftime, the Sugar Bears saw their lead cut to as few as eight on two occasions — the last coming at the 13:01 mark — but bounced back and eventually built their lead to as much as 22 late in the second half, including in the last minute before the Warhawks (0-5) closed the game out with four points in the final six seconds.
"We jumped out to a good lead, but we relaxed a little too much especially in the first half once we got that lead," Daniel said. "I think we have to continue to grow and mature and learn through every experience. If we maintain focus and are solid, we’re going to be a pretty good basketball team. If not, we’re going to be tested every night out."
The Sugar Bears shot 49.1 percent from the field while holding ULM to 35.6 percent, and had their best outing of the season at the 3-point line — hitting 11 of 21 (52.4 percent). The Warhawks were just 2-of-13 beyond the arc.
Megan Herbert led UCA with a season-high 21 points and 13 rebounds for her 50th career double-double.
Destinee Rogers, who had scored just eight points in the Sugar Bears’ first three games, poured in 16 — including a team-high four 3-pointers. Desiree’ Rogers added 12 points. Nakeia Guiden led the team with four assists and three steals.
It was the fourth straight double-digit win for the Sugar Bears, and the third loss of the season to a Southland Conference opponent for ULM. The Warhawks have also suffered setbacks to Lamar and Stephen F. Austin this season.
UCA will face 19th-ranked Texas Tech at 1 p.m. Saturday.