The University of Central Arkansas Bears will play their final non-conference tuneup before Southland Conference play begins later this week when they host Central Baptist College at 3 p.m. Monday at the Farris Center.
The Bears (4-5) and Mustangs (4-7) will be meeting for the fourth time, and the first since 2005 when UCA won 68-53 at the Farris Center.
The Bears have not played since Dec. 22 when they lost, 79-72, decision to Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference.
The Mustangs have been idle even longer — since a Dec. 14 loss (71-43) at Oklahoma Baptist, which broke a three-game winning streak for CBC. The Mustangs, coached by Tony Price, are a young squad with only two seniors and one junior on the roster.
UCA will be playing its third game without All-SLC guard LaQuentin Miles, who has a broken bone in his hand. Miles, averaging 13.9 points and 3.8 assists per game, hopes to return this week for SLC play. In his absence, Robert Crawford is averaging 16.0 points per game to lead three other players in double figures. Crawford is shooting 49 percent from three-point range.
Senior forward Jarvis Garner of Conway is at 13.4 points per game and junior forward Jordan Harks is at 11.7. Garner and Harks are leading the rebounding charts at 6.4 and 5.4, respectively.
The Bears saw the return of 6-foot-10 senior center Anthony Borden against Mississippi State. Borden, who missed the first semester for academic reasons, had six points and four rebounds in his first action of the season.
"We’ve seen some positive things this year so far," said UCA head coach Coliss Williamson, in his third season at UCA. "We’ve had a couple of bad stretches here in the past few games, but I’m still definitely excited and still love coaching this team."
UCA opens conference play on the road at Nicholls State on Thursday night and at Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday afternoon. The first home SLC game for the Bears will be Thursday, Jan. 10, against Stephen F. Austin.