The University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (14-7, 8-2) maintained sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference race Thursday night with an 80-70 victory over Southeastern Louisiana at the Farris Center.

The UCA women held the lead most of the game, then lost it when Aja Gibson scored with 9:55 left for a 53-52 lead by the Lady Lions (6-15, 5-4). Courtney Duever turned a putback into a three-point play and the Sugar Bears hit 13 of 17 free throws in the final minutes (including six in a row) to pull away.

Duever, eight of 11 at the line led the UCA scoring with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Terai Sadler added 17 points.

The UCA women host SLC newcomer New Orleans at 2 p.m. Saturday.