Coming off an overtime win on the road at McNeese State, the Central Arkansas Bears return home after a three-game road trip against the struggling University of New Orleans Privateers.
With Saturday’s win, the Bears (8-16, 7-6 Southland Conference) have now won three of their last four and it took overtime to get things done against McNeese State. UCA eventually pushed out to an 11-point lead prior to halftime against the Cowboys before eventually surrendering the lead but climbed back to tie the game with 1:15 left, causing the game to head to overtime.
After a quick McNeese basket, Bears sophomore guard/forward Eddy Kayouloud hit a pair of 3-pointers that was sandwiched by a Cowboys basket.
UCA senior forward Aaron Weidenaar also hit a 3-pointer to give the Bears a five-point lead with 2:46 left in the overtime period.
A layup by junior center Hayden Koval pushed the lead out to seven with 1:49 left, but the Cowboys were unable to climb back into the game, falling 82-76.
Up next for UCA is the conference preseason favorite New Orleans Privateers (7-16, 3-10 SLC), who have struggled mightily.
One of those three conference wins came at the Bears’ expense when the Privateers won 86-78 in New Orleans.
UNO was strong from anywhere it shot in that game, hitting 51.9 percent from the field, 47.1 percent from beyond the arc and an even 80 percent from the free-throw line, whereas the Bears shot 43.3 percent from the field, 25 percent from 3-point land and 80 percent from the line.
Koval and junior guard Rylan Bergersen led all scorers with 20 points and Kayouloud scored 10, but their effort wasn’t enough to propel the Bears to the win.
The Privateers had six players in double figures for the game with junior guard Lamont Berzat leading the way with 17 points.
Since that game, UNO has registered just two conference wins with a 106-98 win against fellow three-win Houston Baptist on Jan. 15 and an 84-73 win at Southeastern Louisiana on Feb. 1.
The Privateers most recent game was an 81-74 Saturday loss at conference-leader Stephen F. Austin.
UNO was outscored 46-27 in the first half, leading to an already troublesome deficit, while shooting just 37.5 percent from the field.
In contrast, SFA shot 54.6 percent from the field in the first half, helping push to that first-half lead.
The Privateers outscored the Lumberjacks in the second half by 12 points, but the damage had already been done.
UNO was led by season-leading scorer senior guard Bryson Robinson’s 26 points.
Robinson is averaging 18.4 per game for the season, while also tying for the team-lead in steals with junior guard Troy Green with 33 steals.
Sophomore forward Gerald Gates leads the team in rebounds per game with 5.9, while sharing the team-lead in blocks with senior forward Jaylen Key with 12.
Green also leads the team in assists with 68.
The Bears are led by Bergersen’s 15.0 points per game, while junior guard DeAndre Jones leads the team in assists with 80.
Of note, Koval leads the team in rebounds per game and blocks with 7.5 and 76, respectively.
Junior forward Jared Chatham leads the team in steals with 20.
Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Farris Center.