NACOGDOCHES, Texas — A week ago, the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears were on the verge of clinching at least a tie for the Southland Conference regular-season championship.
After a dominating defeat to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, 61-41, the UCA women (18-11, 12-6) will enter this week’s conference tournament as the third-place team on a three-game losing streak.
The Lady Jacks (19-11, 13-5) clinched a share of the regular season title in leading wire-to-wire and avenging an earlier loss to the Sugar Bears in Conway. SFA and Lamar are the regular-season co-champions and will receive a double bye in the tournament.
The UCA women earned one bye and will play either Texas A&M-Corpus Christi or McNeese State at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Katy, Texas.
Saturday, the SFA women began the game with a 7-0 run and UCA had a 12-minute scoring drought in the first half in falling behind 31-15. The Sugar Bears never challenged the second half.
"I don’t know what to say," said UCA head coach Sandra Rushing. "I’m disappointed in our fight. We’re not executing our offense, and you saw our defense. We even tried going to zone and that didn’t work for us either. It’s just very disappointing. It’s getting cliche to say we’re young. I just need some time. I don’t know what else to say."
The Sugar Bears shot 28 percent from the field and were 0 of 15 from 3-point range.
Senior Courtney Duever had her 29th double-double of her career with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Senior Micah Rice had 10 points.
Porschia Roberts scored 20 for the Lady Jacks, who have never lost to the Sugar Bears on their home court.