As a youngster, Louisiana Tech’s Kenyon McNeaill played pickup basketball and attended some camps at the University of Central Arkansas’ Farris Center.
Wednesday night, McNeaill and Raheem Appleby established a comfort zone and blew the UCA Bears out of their own house.
Appleby, a junior from Jacksonville, scored 21 points and McNeiall added 18, including three 3-pointers in leading the Bulldogs to a 94-57 romp over UCA, one of the worst defeats the Bears have sustained on their home court and since becoming an NCAA Division I program.
"Raheem and Kenyon are two great young men that I have had the privilege to coach and that I was very happy to see play well in front of their friends and family," said Louisiana Tech coach Michael White.
The Bulldogs (2-1) took advantage of early turnovers by the Bears (1-2) powered to a 47-19 advantage at halftime, while shooting 50 percent and forcing 13 UCA turnovers. The Bears shot just 7 of 26 (26.9 percent) from the field.
"We tried to play some zone early and try to slow the game down,’ said UCA coach Clarence Finley. "but they knocked down dome 3s and got it inside so we had get out of it. They got it up to a 16-point lead and we had to play some man and they were just too strong for us."
The Bulldogs, the Western Athletic Conference champion a year ago but now a member of Conference USA, shot 26 free throws, making 21 (80.8 percent), while UCA made seven of 12.
DeShone McClure, another Jacksonville product, led the Bears with 19 points.
UCA will travel to Jonesboro for a Sunday afternoon contest against Arkansas State.
ST. JOSEPH JUNIOR HIGH
GUY — St. Joseph’s junior boys and girls took two victory over Guy-Perkins on Wednesday in the Guy-Perkins Invitational junior tourney.
The Lady Bulldogs 92-2) won 47-27. Rachell Prall scored 12 points and Amber Briggler had 11 and five steals. Joanie Elsinger added 11 points. Erin Sterka had si and Mary Catherine Hartman four. Lizzie Whitley had four points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs (5-2) won the boys game, 45-37.
David Beck led St. Joseph with 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Daniel Lee Kordsmeier had 12 points and Gage Berger, nine and five rebounds. Triple Williams added six points.
Jacob Welter had six rebounds and three assists. Zach Martin had three assists.
GREENBRIER JUNIOR HIGH
ATKINS — Greenbrier’s junior girls improved to 1-1 Wednesday with a victory over Dover in the Atkins junior tournament.
The Panthers were paced in scoring by Breleigh Simmons with 14 points and Hollan Donham with six. Kassadie Knowles added three and Chasity Gandy had two.