Tuesday was a double-win night for University of Central Arkansas basketball team.
The Bears shook up their lineup and halted a three-game losing streak with a 60-53 victory over Troy. The Sugar Bears upped their record to 5-1.
The win broke a three-game losing streak and sent the Bears into the Thanksgiving break with a 2-3 overall record and some much-needed confidence.
"I thought we played defense very hard," said UCA coach Clarence Finley, whose team entered the game as one of the worst defensive units in the country. "I thought we played on both ends of the court. I really thought we shared the basketball. We shot the ball very quickly against Louisiana Tech, and tried to clean it up, then we shot the ball very quick against Arkansas State.
"But we definitely shared the ball tonight. Two of the players we took out of the starting lineup had been shooting quick and gambling on defense. And those guys came on and played really well down the stretch tonight."
Ryan Williams, in his first start of the season, led the Bears with 13 points, while Jackson and senior DeShone McClure added 12 each. Sophomore Daouda Berete had a game-high 9 rebounds and Jackson had a game-high 5 assists.
"Ryan is a very good point guard, but he’s been sick for a couple of months," said Finley. "We finally got a healthy Ryan, and you could see, he really ran the team well. The thing about Ryan, he’s been through the tough games like this before."
UCA heads to Manhattan, Kan., on Sunday to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. Game time is 3 p.m. on Fox Sports Midwest.
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — With Monday’s 58-54 victory over Jacksonville State, the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears upped their record to 5-1, the best six game start to a season since 2002-03 when UCA was an NCAA Division II member.
Brianna Mullins hit two free throws and Tyisha Amos secured a big rebound to help the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears escape Jacksonville State.
Leading 56-52 with under a minute to play, the Sugar Bears looked to be in control when Amos grabbed an offensive rebound to keep possession with UCA with 44 seconds to go. But after a timeout, the Gamecocks (2-4) stole the inbound pass and a layup from Gia Banks cut the UCA lead to two with 36 seconds remaining.
But on a night when the Sugar Bears struggled from the free-throw line as a whole (6 for 12), Mullins converted two both after being fouled with 31 seconds left to push the Sugar Bears back ahead by four. Jacksonville State’s Destany McLin misfired on her attempt to cut into the UCA lead, and Amos was there again to grab the rebound and the Sugar Bears ran out the clock for their second road win of the season.
Courtney Duever had eight points and seven rebounds in the first half en route to team highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds for her second straight double-double and third of the season. Mullins had 13 points, including going 5 of 6 at the free-throw line on a night when the rest of the team was just 1 for 6, and six assists. Micah Rice was limited to just two points, but had six rebounds, six assists and two steals while logging 34 minutes. Terai Sadler had eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field.
The Sugar Bears will face another OVC foe on Saturday when they travel to Austin Peay.
CABOT — Conway’s boys put in some extra work Monday on the way to a 57-51 double-overtime victory over Cabot.
Trenton Walder scored 10 points in the second overtime on the way to 20 points and six steals to lead Conway (2-1).
Javonte Ellis had 15 points and seven rebounds. James Grubbs added eight points. Jalen Jones had four points and seven rebounds.
Conway had three players foul out, but got strong minutes from reserves Tyler Smith and Kennedy King.
The Cats play in the West Memphis Classic on Dec. 6-7.
CLARKSVILLE— The Hendrix College women’s basketball team made 12 3-pointers - seven of which came from sophomore Caitlin Kriesel-Bigler - leading to an 81-67 win on the road at the University of the Ozarks on Tuesday night.
The Warriors’ (2-3) 3-pointers made was tied for the sixth most in school history. Guare Kriesel-Bigler was one off her own school record of eight outside shots made, tied with Casey Collins. The Austin, Texas, product was also one off her career-high, scoring 28 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Senior center Jamie Tate scored 17 points and pulled down 23 rebounds, the third most in school history. The total was the fifth 20-plus rebound game of her career. Junior guard Kati Broberg also had a hot hand from outside, nailing a trio of 3-pointers, good for 12 points. She also grabbed six points, tying her career best. Freshman guard Taylor Neal made two outside shots and had 12 points and four assists and freshman forward Anna King added 11 points.
Hendrix will host Austin College on Saturday at 4 p.m.
CLARKSVILLE — University of the Ozarks edged Hendrix’s men, 86-83, in double overtime Tuesday.
After trailing 40-29 at halftime, the Warriors (3-2) shot 65 percent (15-of-23) from the field and outscored the Eagles (2-1) 42-31 in the second half, forcing the extra period. Both teams scored nine in the first overtime, but Ozarks managed a 6-3 advantage in the final period. Freshman Travis Garrett’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out to give the Eagles the victory.
Sophomore guard Drew Nikolovski led the Warriors with a career-high 19 points, going 4-of-5 from 3-point territory. He also had seven rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Sophomore guard John Ogle recorded career-bests with 12 points and 11 rebounds, his first double-double. Senior forward Colton Primm scored 15 points on seven-of-eight shooting and sophomore guard Alec Conard had 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Luke Vance added 10 points.
Hendrix will take on Rust College in Memphis, Tenn. on Saturday.