A winning streak was snapped, and a losing streak continued as Central Arkansas men’s and women’s basketball teams fell to Sam Houston in Huntsville, Texas.
Riding a four-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s contest against SHSU, UCA (7-11, 5-5 Southland Conference) couldn’t find equal footing at the Bearkats (10-6, 6-4 SLC) put away the Sugar Bears 69-61.
Referees officiating the game didn’t quite let the two teams get away with much as they combined for 52 fouls with five players fouling out with another finishing with four fouls.
The foul calls brought forth 68 free throw attempts with SHSU holding the advantage at the line, knocking down 27 of 38 attempts.
Meanwhile, UCA struggled a bit more, hitting just 17 of 30.
Through the first half, both teams played quite closely with the Sugar Bears taking a 34-33 advantage into halftime, but the shooting slowed down to 25 percent from the field in the third quarter.
Conversaley, the Bearkats knocked down 50 percent of shots in the third, while four more points at the free-throw line than UCA had attempted in the quarter.
This led to a 22-12 third quarter in which allowed SHSU to lead 55-46 heading into the final frame.
Late in the third quarter, with 12 seconds left, Sugar Bears junior forward Lucy Ibeh fouled out, which meant UCA had to attempt a comeback without its leading scorer and a key cog in the four-game win streak.
Then, nearly two minutes into the fourth quarter, senior forward Ayanna Trigg fouled out of the game.
Her twin sister Briana Trigg joined Ayanna a minute and a half later as she fouled out as well.
Briana and Ibeh finished as the second leading scorers for the Sugar Bears with eight points, while UCA also had to work the remaining 6:44 without Briana, who led the team in rebounds with 10.
Despite the losses of the Trigg twins and Ibeh, UCA managed to outscore SHSU, while also shooting 50 percent from the field.
However, the Bearkats nearly matched the Sugar Bears in points as UCA won the quarter 15-14.
But, the 22-12 third quarter is what ultimately buried the Sugar Bears’ chances Saturday.
Senior guard Savannah Walker led UCA in points with 18 as she played all 40 minutes.
SHSU senior Courtney Cleveland led all scorers with 20 points, while junior forward Amber Leggett nearly posted a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Junior guard Jolicia Williams tied Leggett’s 16 points, while senior guard Faith Cook scored 10.
The Sugar Bears face a tough test Wednesday when they travel to play conference-leading Stephen F. Austin.
SHSU 97, UCA 57
The UCA men have had a rough go of things this season, falling for the eighth straight time Saturday in a 97-57 losing effort.
Much like in the women’s half of the doubleheader, the two teams played closely in the first half, but it was the second half where the wheels fell off for the Bears both defensively and offensively.
UCA managed just 21 shot attempts after putting up 32 in the first half as it committed 20 turnovers to just eight for SHSU.
The Bears made 7 of those 21, while the Bearkats knocked down 21 of 31 of their second half attempts.
It was a dreadful start to the second half as the Bears managed just five points over the half’s first 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, SHSU’s lead snowballed out to 25 in that span.
Things did get better for UCA, but not much as it eventually fell behind 41 points before settling into the 40-point loss.
Four Bearkat players reached double figures with Zach Nutall leading the way with 23, followed by Jarren Cook’s 18, Donte Powers’ 14 and Bryce Monroe’ 13.
Two Bears reached double figures with senior guard Rylan Bergersen leading UCA with 13, while junior guard/forward Eddy Kayouloud scored 11.
The Bears host a Stephen F. Austin team that walloped UCA 95-69 the first time the two teams met this season on Jan. 13.