With COVID-19 causing issues with scheduling, this season has been unlike any other.
The Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (6-10, 4-4 Southland Conference) were supposed to play the New Orleans Privateers (4-10, 1-7 SLC) on Jan. 6, but New Orleans had to postpone the game hours before tip off because of COVID issues within its program.
Thus, the makeup game was scheduled for Feb. 3, which UCA walked away from New Orleans with a 47-46 win.
Last Saturday, the Sugar Bears were supposed to play McNeese State at the Farris Center, but McNeese State was forced to postpone because of COVID issues within its program.
This meant that UCA and UNO would be playing back-to-back contests with the unique scheduling that COVID-19 has caused.
The Sugar Bears welcome New Orleans to town one week removed from their trip to NOLA.
Last Wednesday, UCA used its trademark defense in the first and fourth quarters to hold off the Privateers for the Sugar Bears’ third consecutive win.
The first quarter was sloppy with both teams struggling to hit from the field as UCA made just 3 of 14, while New Orleans hit 2 of 10.
This marked the third consecutive game the Sugar Bears held an opponent to four or fewer points in a quarter.
The second and third quarters were where the Privateers took control of things as they outscored UCA 36-25.
But, the fourth quarter was where the Sugar Bears won the game.
Trailing by seven, that defense showed up once again as UCA held New Orleans to 2 of 9 shooting.
The Sugar Bears outscored the Privateers 14-6 in the final quarter with all of those points being scored with 4:53 left in the game.
Neither team pushed across a basket for nearly five minutes as UCA won the stalemate.
UCA junior forward Lucy Ibeh tied with UNO sophomore guard Mary Delgado for the game lead in points with 16, with Ibeh coming two rebounds shy of a double-double.
Privateers season leading scorer senior guard Dionjhae Thomas was held to her season average of 11.6 points as she scored 11 in the losing effort.
Likewise, junior forward Erin Randle was held to her team-leading rebounding season average of 5.6 with five rebounds against UCA.
Thomas also leads the team in assists with 39 and steals with 24, while Randle leads the team in blocks with 12.
The Sugar Bears are led by Ibeh in a trio of categories, averaging 12.0 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and gathering 35 steals on the season.
Senior guard Tori Lasker leads the team in assists with 33, while freshman forward Jayla Cody leads the team in blocks with 13.
Tip off for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Farris Center.
Steve Owens with 91.3 FM The Bear will have the call.