Lions clip Falcons, win eighth straight
FORT SMITH — Five players scored in double-figures on Thursday night as the UAFS Lions held off the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Falcons for an 83-80 Heartland Conference win at the Falcon Dome in Odessa.
UAFS (15-3, 8-2) won its eighth consecutive game and remained one-game behind conference leader Texas A&M International, which beat Oklahoma Panhandle State 98-88 on Thursday night at the Kinesiology and Convocation Building in Laredo, Texas.
The Lions will look to sweep its road trip and keep its winning streak alive at 3 p.m. on Saturday when it plays Lubbock Christian at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas.
Senior guard Jake Toupal had 16 points to lead UAFS, which led 44-41 at halftime. Senior guard Xavier McClish chipped in 15, freshman guard Alex Cooper had 14, freshman guard Seth Youngblood had 12 and senior guard Corey Copeland had 10.
Neighbour tallies double-double in UARL win
LITTLE ROCK – Led by senior Will Neighbour’s milestone night UALR won 80-69 in a hard-fought contest against Louisiana inside the Jack Stephens Center.
The Trojans (11-10, 6-3 Sun Belt Conference) finished the game on a 21-10 run to beat the Ragin’ Cajuns (12-9, 3-5 SBC). The deciding run was sparked by the senior forward whose dunk gave UALR a three-point lead with 9:26 to go.
The Trojans’ reserves scored the team’s next 16 points, from five different subs.
Neighbour finished the night with a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.
Neighbour is now the sixth player in program history to total 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.
Sophomore Josh Hagins led the bench scoring with 14 points to go with six rebounds and three assists.
Junior Ben Dillard scored 11 on 2-of-3 shooting from the floor and 6-of-7 shooting from the line.
UALR will be back in action on Saturday when they take on South Alabama.
Harding wins sixth game in seven at home
SEARCY — Harding (10-8, 7-5) connected on 10 3-pointers and outscored Southern Nazarene (8-9, 6-5) by 10 points at the free throw line in a 74-66 victory Thursday in Great American Conference play at Rhodes Field House.
The victory was Harding’s sixth in seven games at home this season. Harding is tied with Arkansas-Monticello for third place in the conference standings.
Jacob Gibson led Harding in scoring for the third straight game. He made 4-of-7 3-pointers and 6-of-8 free throws and had 22 points. Hayden Johnson made three 3-pointers and had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. Blake McNair made all five of his free throws and scored 13.
Weevils begin 4-game road swing with win
ALVA, Okla. — The University of Arkansas at Monticello men’s basketball team held off a late Northwestern Oklahoma State run to record a 55-51 road victory over the Rangers on Thursday night inside Percefull Fieldhouse to start a four-game road swing in the state of Oklahoma.
UAM (14-6, 7-5 GAC) held NWOSU (6-11, 3-9) scoreless in the final 1:51 to seal its third road win of the year.
UAM’s Sharif Hudson led all scorers and was the only Weevil to reach double-digits with a final total of 17 points, 14 of which coming in the second half.
The Weevils are back in action this Saturday on the road against Southwestern Oklahoma State.
Reddies take down East Central
ARKADELPHIA — Deoirvay Johnson scored a game-high 23 points to lead Henderson State to a 75-56 blowout of East Central, Thursday at the Duke Wells Center.
Johnson helped the Reddies outscore the Tigers 41-23 in the second half as the senior from Fort Worth, Texas scored 19 points in the final 20 minutes.
Henderson State (9-11, 5-7 GAC) won its sixth straight game over East Central.
The Tigers (11-7, 8-4 GAC) led 33-31 late in the first half before Kevin Kozan hit a 3-point field goal to put Henderson on top 34-33 at the break.
Kozan ended the game with 15 points, while Taylor Smith scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Reggie Murphy also scored in double-figures having 12 points while also grabbing 9 boards.
Henderson State will next play host to Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday.
UCA ends losing streak at McNeese STate
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A tale of two halves ended with the shorthanded University of Central Arkansas Bears breaking a five-game losing streak with a dramatic, last-second 76-75 victory over the McNeese State Cowboys on Thursday night at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
The Bears, who saw a 17-point halftime lead disappear quickly in the second half, got seven three-pointers and a career-high 23 points from junior guard Aubrey Ball and the game-winning play, or plays, from senior guard LaQuentin Miles. UCA was playing without freshman Jalen Jackson and sophomore Tirrell Brown and dressed out just nine players.
After the Cowboys (6-14, 4-4) had gone ahead by four points at 74-70 with just 15 seconds to play, Ball nailed his seventh three-pointer of the night to get the Bears (5-14, 2-6) within 74-73 with 9.8 remaining.
Miles, who would finish with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, drove the length of the court and put in an off-balance layup in the lane at the buzzer while being fouled by Kevin Hardy. The officials reviewed the play before calling the basket good, tying the score at 75-75, and then put 0.5 seconds back on the clock.
After the five-minute delay for review, Miles stepped to the line and canned the free throw to give the Bears the lead.
UCA also got 12 points from senior DeShone McClure and 10 from sophomore Daouda Berete. Freshman Phabian Glasco had a career-high five blocked shots.
The Bears head to Thibodaux, La., on Saturday to take on the Nicholls Colonels.
Lions scorch nets in OT
FORT SMITH — When you’re hot, you’re hot.
UAFS shot a season-high 51 percent from the field on Thursday night as the Lady Lions outlasted the University of Texas of the Permian Basin 77-69 in overtime in Heartland Conference play at the Falcon Dome in Odessa.
The Lady Lions (6-13, 6-7) inched closer to .500 in conference play with the regular-season sweep of the Falcons (4-14, 3-10), which lost 93-80 in the first encounter at the Stubblefield Center on Dec. 7.
UAFS will look to sweep its road trip at 1 p.m. on Saturday when it plays Lubbock Christian at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas.
With the game tied at 67 points after regulation, UAFS took complete control of the game for good in the extra five-minute frame.
Ten Lady Lions scored in the win with freshman forward Justyne Huber and freshman guard Maddy Backus leading the way with 21 and 15 points, respectively.
Blossoms fall at Northwestern
ALVA, Okla. – Sophomore Tamia Grady made 14 consecutive free throw attempts and 16-of-22 charity shots total, but the University of Arkansas at Monticello (5-12, 1-10 GAC) could not hold off Northwestern Oklahoma State (4-12, 4-6 GAC) in a 62-56 loss Thursday night on the road.
Grady made up for a 3-for-14 performance from the field with her 16 made foul shots on 22 attempts. She finished just one attempt shy of tying the school record for free throw attempts in a game. Grady finished the game with 22 points in 36 minutes.
In addition to Grady’s 22 points, Jordan Goforth also reached double-digits in scoring with 16 points. Goforth also added 11 rebounds in the loss for her first double-double of the season and second of her career.
The Blossoms are back in action this Saturday on the road against Southwestern Oklahoma State.
Lady Reddies fall at home
ARKADELPHIA — Henderson State (12-6, 7-5 GAC) suffered its first loss at home as East Central (12-6, 7-5) beat the Lady Reddies 62-52, Thursday at the Duke Wells Center.
The Lady Reddies had its eight-game home winning streak end thanks a lackluster shooting performance.
East Central controlled the game from the start outrebounding the Lady Reddies 41 to 31 while dominating the inside game outscoring Henderson 32 to 18 in the paint.
Sledge was the only Lady Reddie in double-figures with 11 points, with Taylor Washington scoring 9 points.
Dulincia Keener led the team in rebounding with eight to go along with 5 points.
It was one of the worst shooting performances of the year as Henderson State finished the game shooting 29 percent from the field making 15-of-51 shots including 6-of-17 from beyond the arc. The Lady Reddies converted on just 9-of-32 shots in the paint.
Henderson State will next play host to Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday.
No. 8 Harding blast Southern Nazarene
SEARCY - The eighth-ranked Harding (19-1, 11-1) defeated Southern Nazarene 94-57 on Thursday in Great American Conference action at the Rhodes Field House.
Harding extended its home winning streak to 12 games which dates back to last season. It’s the second longest winning streak in school history. Harding won 16 straight from 95-96.
The Lady Bisons were led by junior guard Montana Lewis who had 13 points. Junior forward Arielle Saunders had 11 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Seniors Kristen Celsor and Lauren Crenshaw both had 10 points in only 15 minutes of action.
Harding had a season-high 25 assists led by the Haney sisters, A’ndrea and Tabitha, who each had six.
The Lady Bisons will have this Saturday off before hosting Northwestern Oklahoma in their second of a three game home stand next week.