EUGENE, Ore. — Senior guard Jordan Howard tied two arena records Wednesday night but the University of Central Arkansas could not overcome another slow first half as they fell to the Oregon Ducks 96-82 before a crowd of 6,908 at Matthew Knight Arena.
Howard, UCA’s career 3-point leader from Chandler, Ariz., scored 35 points and hit eight three pointers to lead the Bears (6-7), who had to overcome a more than six-minute scoring drought in the first half in which the Ducks (10-3) turn a 14-14 tie into a 30-14 lead midway through the half. The Ducks ended up making it an 18-0 run that put the Bears in a hole the rest of the way.
With Howard scoring 22 of his points in the first half, the Bears managed to get to within 55-40 at halftime. UCA actually won the second half, shooting 51.6 percent from the field and outscoring Oregon 42-41. The Bears cut the deficit to single digits twice but the Pac-12 Ducks, an NCAA Final Four a year ago, had answers each time.
"It’s becoming a little bit of an issue," said UCA head coach Russ Pennell. "I’m just not happy with our defense. At times it looks good, but I just don’t think the commitment is there like it needs to be. And that 18-0 run kind of did us in. I told the guys, we’re a good offensive team and we can score points, but if you’re going to beat a team with your offense, you better be the Golden State Warriors, because that’s about the only team that can do that."