UALR Begins Final Week of Regular Basketball Season with Louisiana at JSC on Thursday

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics Department

GM30 // UALR (15-14, 9-9 SBC) vs. Louisiana (11-18, 7-11 SBC)

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 • 7:30 PM (CST)

Little Rock, Ark. • Jack Stephens Center (5,600)

Radio: KABZ – 103.7 FM

Online Radio: 1037TheBuzz.com

Radio Talent: Ray Tucker (PXP) & Pat Bradley (Analyst)

Live Video: UALRTrojans.com

Live Stats: UALRTrojans.com

 

Series (Overall): UL leads, 22-16

Series (at UALR): UALR leads, 11-7

Current Streak: UL, 1 win

Last Meeting: 12/29/12 – UL, 79-70

Shields Record vs. UL: 9-6

 

UALR Trojans

2012-13 Record: 15-14

Home Record: 11-3

Head Coach: Steve Shields (10th year)

Record at UALR: 162-142

Career Record: Same

 

UALR Statistical Leaders

Points: Will Neighbour (10.8)

Rebounds: Will Neighbour (6.9)

Assists: Josh Hagins (2.9)

Steals: Leroy Isler (1.4)

Blocks: Michael Javes (1.2)

 

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

2012-13 Record: 11-18

Road Record: 1-13

Head Coach: Bob Marlin (3rd year)

Record at UL: 41-49

Career Record: 266-180 (15th year)

 

Louisiana Statistical Leaders

Points: Elfrid Payton (16.0)

Rebounds: Shawn Long (10.4)

Assists: Elfrid Payton (5.2)

Steals: Elfrid Payton (2.4)

Blocks: Shawn Long (2.0)

 

Quick Hits

• UALR has lost four-straight games entering Thursday’s matchup with Louisiana, its longest streak of the 2012-13 season, and is looking to avoid its first five-game slide since it dropped six straight in Feb. 2010.

• As of today, UALR would receive a bye as the No. 5 seed at the 2013 SBC Tournament.

• Louisiana topped UALR 79-70 earlier this season in Lafayette in a game that saw the Trojans lead by three at the half and finish +12 on the glass. UALR shot just 31.3 percent, while UL finished 49.1 percent from the floor.

• The Trojans are 11-3 at home this season and 103-43 at home since Shields took over in 2003.

• In terms of minutes played by class, UALR is the least-experienced team in the nation. Nine of UALR’s top 11 players (by minutes played) are freshmen and sophomores.

• UALR is 14-2 on the season when finishing with a higher FG% than its opponent.

• UALR is 14-3 on the season when holding opponents under 70 points and 1-11 when surrendering 70 or more.

• Under Shields, UALR is 141-56 when holding opponents below 70 points and 83-20 when keeping opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field.

• Shields is second among active coaches in career SBC wins (90). Middle Tennessee’s Kermit Davis (115) ranks first.

• Junior Will Neighbour leads UALR in scoring (10.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). Neighbour’s 7.7 boards per game in league games rank fifth in the Sun Belt.

• With four blocks at FIU, sophomore Michael Javes moved into sole possession of sixth place on UALR’s all-time blocks list. Javes now has 79 career blocks in less than two full seasons at UALR.

• Freshman Josh Hagins is averaging 9.7 points, 3.1 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the floor in conference games this season.

 

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Race

• UALR is in contention for a first-round bye at the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The top-five seeds receive a Friday bye, and the Trojans currently sit at 9-9 in Sun Belt play and would be the No. 5 seed at the SBC Tournament if the season ended today.

• Middle Tennessee (17-1) and Arkansas State (12-6) have secured the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds as winners of their respective divisions. USA (13-5) has locked up the No. 3 seed, and FIU (10-8), UALR (9-9), WKU (9-9), Florida Atlantic (8-11) and Louisiana (7-11) are all in contention for seeds No. 4 and 5.

• If FIU wins either at ULM or at home against Florida Atlantic this week, the Panthers will be the No. 4 seed. If either UALR or WKU wins one game this week, FAU and Louisiana will be eliminated from bye consideration.

• If UALR and WKU are tied, UALR holds the tie breaker, having beaten WKU twice this season.

• If UALR and FIU tie, FIU would hold the tie breaker, having beaten Arkansas State twice.

 

Team Notes

• UALR has dropped four-straight games and five of its last six after falling at Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

• UALR currently ranks sixth in the Sun Belt Conference in offensive field goal percentage (42.2 percent) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (34.0 percent).

• The Trojans rank fourth in the conference in defensive field goal percentage (42.3 percent) and fifth in defensive three-point field goal percentage (33.0 percent).

• Other current UALR ranks amongst SBC teams: third in assists (11.7 apg), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8), fourth in blocks (3.8 bpg), sixth in steals (7.0 spg) and fifth in turnover margin (+1.3).

• UALR is 5-0 on the season when at least four Trojans finish in double figures.

• The Trojans have won five games this season after trailing at halftime.

• UALR has finished even or better in points-in-the-paint in 12 of its last 15 games.

• UALR has matched its season total for wins (15) from all of last season.

• In games won this season, UALR is averaging 14.1 assists per game, compared to 9.1 apg in its losses.

• The Trojans are averaging four fewer turnovers per game in wins this season (13.2) than in losses (17.2).

• UALR is 11-1 this season when outscoring its opponent at the FT line.

• UALR’s five turnovers at FAU on Saturday, Feb. 23 were a season low.

• UALR tied a season high with seven blocks at FIU on Thursday, Feb. 21.

 

Individual Notes

• Junior Will Neighbour has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding in 14 of the last 16 games.

• Sophomore Michael Javes is averaging 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 54.8 percent shooting over UALR’s last five games.

• Sophomore Gus Leeper scored a career-best 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in UALR’s win at ULM (2/7/13). Leeper is shooting 81.0 percent from the foul line this season.

• Sophomore Ben Dillard is shooting 45.7 percent from three-point range in Sun Belt games.

• Junior Leroy Isler has at least one steal in 13 of his last 15 games.

• Isler scored 14 points at FAU on Saturday, one shy of his career-high 15 vs. SMU (11/24/13).

• Freshman Josh Hagins’ shooting numbers in conference play: 46.3 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from three-point range and 77.1 percent from the free throw line.

• Hagins has made at least one three pointer in 13 of his last 15 games.

• Freshman John Gillon is averaging 9.0 points and has hit a team-high six three-pointers over UALR’s last five games.

 

Last Time Out

• UALR committed a season-low five turnovers and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, but couldn’t overcome a 33.3-percent shooting night as the Trojans dropped their fourth-straight game at Florida Atlantic by a 73-59 final on Saturday. The Owls’ Greg Gantt (26) and Stefan Moody (25) combined for 51 of FAU’s 73 points on the night.

• Isler led UALR on offense with 14 points, one off his career high, on 6-of-13 shooting. Isler added a team-high seven rebounds and a steal in 34 minutes.

• Hagins scored 10 points and Dillard chipped in nine on 3-of-9 shooting.

• The Trojans committed just five turnovers in the game and led 14-to-4 in points-off-turnovers. But UALR finished the night shooting just 33.3 percent from the field (21-of-63), 23.1 percent from three-point range (3-of-13) and 60.9 percent from the foul line (14-of-23).

 

About Louisiana

• Louisiana sits at 11-18 overall and 7-11 in Sun Belt play after falling at WKU by an 88-77 final on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Cajuns are 3-2 over their last five games.

• UL ranks second in the Sun Belt in scoring at 71.0 ppg, but also surrenders a league-worst 73.7 ppg.

• Elfrid Payton leads the Cajuns in scoring (16.0 ppg), assists (5.2 apg) and steals (2.4 spg). Payton leads the Sun Belt in assists and steals and ranks eighth in scoring.

• Shawn Long provides a post presence for the Cajuns with 15.6 points and 10.4 boards per game. Long is one of just two players in the Sun Belt averaging a double-double on the season.

• Head coach Bob Marlin is in his third year with the team and has a 41-49 record in that span.

 

All-Time Against the Ragin’ Cajuns

• Louisiana leads 22-16 in the all-time series, but UALR leads 11-7 in games played in Little Rock.

• In the last meeting, UL won 79-70 in Lafayette on Dec. 29, 2012. Junior Will Neighbour collected his fifth career double-double with 17 points and a career-best 14 rebounds.

• Head coach Steve Shields is 9-6 all-time against Louisiana.

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