Undefeated and nationally-ranked UAFS will take a brief break from regular-season play on Tuesday when the Lions play the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in an exhibition game at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
Tip-off will be 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on KFPW-AM 1230 and via the Internet at www.sportshog1031.comS.
Although it will be an exhibition game for UAFS, it will count as a regular-season game for NCAA Division I UALR. It will be the first meeting ever between the two programs, and it will be an opportunity for UAFS coach Josh Newman to match wits with his mentor, UALR coach Steve Shields.
Newman served as an assistant coach to Shields for two seasons at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas.
UAFS (6-0) is off to its best start since joining NCAA Division II in the fall of 2009 and last week earned its first national ranking as a Division II program and its first ranking overall since Jan. 11, 2009 when the Lions still competed at the NJCAA level.
The Lions extended their unbeaten start on Friday with a 101-87 win against South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at Goodell Gymnasium in Rapid City, S.D. This will be UAFS’ fourth game against an in-state opponent. The Lions have wins against Central Baptist College (116-61), Ouachita Baptist (88-79) and Henderson State (74-72).
UAFS’ signature win of the young season, however, was an 83-49 home win against then No. 10 Northeastern State on Nov. 23.
The Lions are averaging 91 points per game with three players averaging double-figures in scoring – freshman guard Seth Youngblood (16.8), junior guard Tramel White (14.4), senior guard Jake Toupal (13.7) and freshman guard Alex Cooper (11).
UAFS is out-rebounding its opponents by almost 13 rebounds per game (42.8-30.5). Sophomore forward Kenny Martin leads the team with 7.7 rebounds per game and is one of five Lions averaging five or more rebounds per game.
The Lions are allowing 70.8 points per game and forcing 14.5 turnovers per game. White leads the team with five steals and is one of four Lions with four steals or more.
UALR (2-4) has wins against Southern University (85-82, OT) and Southern Arkansas (90-58). The Trojans’ losses are against North Florida (72-70), Florida (86-56), Middle Tennessee State (76-59) and, most recently, Oklahoma (101-81).
The Trojans are averaging 73.5 points per game with two players averaging double-figures in scoring – senior forward Will Neighbour (18.3) and sophomore guard Josh Hagins (12.2). Opponents are out-rebounding the Trojans by almost one rebound per game (38-37.5). Neighbour and sophomore forward James White lead the team with 7.7 and six rebounds per game.
UALR is allowing 79.2 points per game and forcing 12.5 turnovers per game. Neighbour leads the team with nine steals.