MONROE, La. — After committing 15 first-half turnovers and falling behind by as many as nine points, the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (6-3) used a 33-7 run in the second half to power to a 62-49 win over the Warhawks (2-9).
"I just think that we settled down," said UCA head coach Sandra Rushing. "I'm very proud of the way we responded – when things could've gone the other way for us, we kept fighting. I felt like once we got focused, we were able to get things done and our defense at times looked really, really good. I'm really, really proud of this team for getting this win on the road."
Coming out of the locker room down one at the break, the Sugar Bears surrendered the first four points of the second half to the Warhawks to fall behind 28-23. But from that point, Central Arkansas controlled the game as the Sugar Bears limited the Warhawks to just three baskets over the next 13:38 and distanced themselves with a strong shooting effort that resulted in a 51.6 shooting percentage in the half.
One of the key factors was perimeter shooting, as the Sugar Bears tied their season-high by connecting on seven 3-pointers. Leading the way was senior guard Micah Rice, who hit 4-of-7 in her first game back from a knee injury suffered early in the Arkansas State game on Dec. 8. In addition to her 12 points, Rice led the Sugar Bears with two blocks and tied for the team lead with four assists.
"I really think Micah was the difference tonight," Rushing said. "She hadn't really practiced in a week and a half, and came in and gave everything she's got. And it was good to have her leadership out there on the floor. She settled us down and did a great job."
Senior forward Megan Herbert was responsible for the Sugar Bears' other three 3-pointers en route to a game-high 22 points. Herbert also pulled down seven rebounds to move past Genai Walker for second on the UCA career rebounding list, needing just 16 to break Carol Jones' record total of 1,216. Herbert also tied a career high with four steals.
Junior center Courtney Duever had her second straight double-double, netting 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Desiree' Rogers continued her strong presence on the boards, grabbing 11 rebounds – reaching double figures in three straight games for the first time in her career.
The win was the second straight for Central Arkansas over ULM, with the Sugar Bears winning the first meeting 73-55 last season in Lubbock, Texas. It was the fourth loss this season for the Warhawks to a team from the Southland Conference, the league ULM departed in 2006.
The Sugar Bears finish their road trip Saturday at noon at Southern Mississippi.