After the University of Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears split a pair of games against both Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana at home, both teams look for wins Wednesday against Houston Baptist University.
The Sugar Bears (9-12, 4-7 Southland Conference) are coming off a pair of dominating performances at home against the Lady Demons and Lady Lions.
In a Feb. 2 matchup at the Farris Center, UCA beat NSU 74-52, flexing its defensive muscles as it forced the Lady Demons to shoot 34.7 percent from the field.
On Feb. 9, however, it seemed there was little the Sugar Bears could do that went wrong as it played a heavily one-sided game against SLU in a 75-33 win over the Lady Lions in which UCA created 23 turnovers and held SLU to 27.7 percent shooting.
It was classic Sugar Bears under coach Rushing.
Now that UCA is riding a two-game winning streak, which is tied for a season-long, as it turns its attention to Houston Baptist (7-13, 2-8 SLC).
The Sugar Bears currently find themselves tied for the final spot in the race for the SLC Tournament, while the Huskies are tied with Incarnate Word at the bottom of the standings.
HBU finds themselves on a two-game losing streak as it looks to climb back into contention.
This is the first and only time these two teams will meet in the regular season.
Last year, UCA got the best of the Huskies in a 64-56 win on Feb. 7 in the Farris Center.
This time, the Sugar Bears travel south to Houston, Texas with their sights set on continuing to climb the ladder.
Houston Baptist is led in scoring by senior guard Amanda Johnson’s 12.6 points per game.
Sophomore guard Megan Valdez-Crader leads the team in assists per game (3.5) and steals (32).
Sophomore forward Taylor Kollmorgen leads the team in rebounds per game (6.0), while senior centers Natalia Gwarda and Veronika Kirienko leads the team in blocks (21).
The Sugar Bears are led in points per game, assists per game and steals by senior guard Kamry Orr, who is averaging 15.9 points per game, 3.3 assists per game and 47 steals.
Sophomore forward Hannah Langhi leads the team in rebounds per game (4.9) and blocks (10).
UCA is 8-2 all-time against HBU and 2-2 in Houston.
The UCA men have had a rough go of it lately.
After putting together a four-game winning streak, the Bears (10-14, 5-6 SLC) have inverted that and are now riding a four-game skid.
In the two previous home games, UCA looked like the Bears of the early Pennell days where it would get crushed before coming back from 25 points down against Northwestern State on Feb. 2 to fall short of completing the comeback.
The following Saturday, UCA played most of its game with Southeastern Louisiana from behind and couldn’t get over the hump.
Now, the Bears set their sights on Houston Baptist (7-14, 3-7 SLC), which recently broke a six-game losing streak to go on a two-game winning streak.
However, it most recently dropped a close contest to Stephen F. Austin at home.
Currently, UCA finds itself as the final seed for the SLC Tournament with seven contests remaining, including Wednesday’s home contest against the Huskies.
HBU currently finds itself on the outside looking in for a final tournament spot.
Last season, it their only matchup of the year, the Bears beat the Huskies 100-80 in Houston, Texas.
This year, HBU makes its way to the Farris Center, where the two teams are tied 1-1 inside the Farris Center and tied 3-3 all-time.
Sophomore guard Ian DuBose leads the Huskies in points per game (17.9), assists per game (3.4) and rebounds per game (6.0).
Freshman forward Benjamin Uloko leads the team in blocks with nine, while senior guard Braxton Bonds leads the team in steals with 47.
UCA is led in points per game, assists per game and steals by sophomore guard DeAndre Jones with 12.9 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 48 steals.
Sophomore center Hayden Koval leads the team in rebounds per game with 5.8 and blocks with 44.
The Bears and Huskies will play Wednesday in the Farris Center with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m.