HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Megan Herbert became Central Arkansas’ career rebound leader and notched her 70th career double-double with a 13-point, 16-rebound effort Saturday.
But it was not enough to overcome a season-high 30 turnovers for the Sugar Bears as they fell 53-44 to Southern Miss.
Missing senior guard Micah Rice for most of the game after she re-injured the knee she originally hurt at Arkansas State two weeks ago, the Sugar Bears (6-4) had more turnovers (17) than points (16) in the second half as Southern Miss (6-5) pulled away for the win.
"All teams hit adversity, and when Micah went down, it happened," said UCA coach Sandra Rushing. "It breaks my heart, I teared up, and we’re not sure where she is right now. But we’ve got to be able to fight through that and figure it out. I don’t even have words to say for this performance. We had way too many turnovers. I’m disappointed in our defense and our focus. We’ve got to take care of the turnovers. To have 30 turnovers, absolutely at this level there shouldn’t be that many turnovers."
Herbert broke the school rebounding record, held by Carol Jones since 1986, at the 2:17 mark with the last of her seven offensive rebounds – giving her 1,217 rebounds in her time at Central Arkansas. In getting the 70th double-double of her career, she also moved into fifth on the school’s career scoring list with 1,905 points.
"Megan played with heart and passion, and she’s looking for somebody else to step up with her," Rushing said. "I don’t think (Desiree’ Rogers) played a great basketball game, but she has been pulling a load for us the last couple games. But we were definitely out of sync. We can’t be where we want to play hard sometimes, and sometimes not. When you put that uniform on, you’ve got to play with passion and desire. We’ve got a lack of focus, we’re not understanding, and we’re coming down jacking up shots we shouldn’t. We’ve got to play smarter basketball."
Rogers had 10 rebounds for UCA, her fourth straight game in double figures, as the Sugar Bears outrebounded the Lady Eagles 47-29. The rebounding advantage was not enough to offset the 30-15 turnover margin, with the Lady Eagles scoring 32 points off Sugar Bear miscues.
The Sugar Bears also struggled from the field in the second half, making just five field goals and shooting 21.7 percent. For the game they were just 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) from 3-point range.
The Sugar Bears will play their final non-conference game of the season on Dec. 29 when they take on Philander Smith at 2 p.m. in the Farris Center.