NEW ORLEANS — Despite one of their best offensive nights of the season, Central Arkansas struggled to contain New Orleans on Wednesday as the Sugar Bears fell 85-73 to the Privateers at Lakefront Arena.
The Sugar Bears (11-12, 7-7 Southland Conference) had their second-best shooting night of the season – and best against a Division I opponent – as they shot 51.8 percent from the field and made 81.3 percent of their free throws en route to their highest point total of the season against Division I competition.
Unfortunately, the Privateers (13-10, 9-5 SLC) were even better, knocking down 60.4 percent of their shots – the highest percentage allowed by the Sugar Bears this season – hit 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) from 3-point range, and were 20 of 25 (80 percent) from the free-throw line as they swept the season series from the Sugar Bears with their second 12-point victory after winning 49-37 in Conway last month.
UNO shot 72.7 percent (8 of 11) in the first quarter and was 7 for 12 (58.3 percent) in the second as the Privateers built a 39-33 halftime lead.
After falling behind by eight in the third quarter, the Sugar Bears closed the gap to as little as two with a chance to take the lead, but misfired on a 3-point attempt and UNO would go on to finish the quarter with a seven-point advantage.
In the fourth, the Sugar Bears drew as close as three, but a 9-2 UNO run put the Privateers up 10 with just over two minutes to play and put the Sugar Bears’ comeback hopes to rest as the Privateers finished the quarter shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 92.3 percent (12 of 13) at the free-throw line.
The Sugar Bears got 19 points from Briana Trigg on 8 of 14 shooting, giving the junior forward 43 points over the last two games.
Hannah Langhi had 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting, while Ayanna Trigg added a season-high 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting.
Taylor Sells led the Sugar Bears with six assists, while Savanna Walker had a season-high five, with four coming in the first quarter.
In all, the Sugar Bears had 22 assists on 29 baskets – equaling their season high.
The Privateers got 19 points in 16 minutes off the bench from Mia Deck, who came in averaging just 6.6 points per game.
Asia Woods added 18 points and ninie rebounds, while Rehema Franklin added 18 points and Whitley Larry 13.
The loss was the Sugar Bears’ third straight to the Privateers, and first ever in five meetings at Lakefront Arena.
Central Arkansas conclude its road trip at Sam Houston State on Saturday before returning to the Farris Center next week to take on Southland-leader Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday and Nicholls on Saturday.