Courtesy UALR Department of Athletics
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The UALR Trojans committed just five turnovers and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, but couldn’t overcome a 33.3-percent shooting night as the team (15-14, 9-9 SBC) was handed its fourth-straight loss by Florida Atlantic (13-17, 8-11 SBC) 73-59 at FAU Arena on Saturday. The Owls’ Greg Gantt (26) and Stefan Moody (25) combined for 51 of FAU’s 73 points on the night.
Junior Leroy Isler led the UALR Trojans 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. Freshman Josh Hagins scored 10 points and sophomore Ben Dillard chipped in nine on 3-of-9 shooting. Sophomore Michael Javes grabbed six rebounds and contributed five points, and junior Will Neighbour scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds.
The UALR 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). UALR was outrebounded 40-to-37 and trailed 30-to-24 in points-in-the-paint.
The Owls shot 48.1 percent from the floor (25-of-52) on the night and knocked down 7-of-17 three-pointers. FAU also connected on 16-of-21 free throw attempts.
UALR never led in a first half that saw them shoot 31.3 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from the foul line and 16.7 percent from three-point range. A bucket by Hagins pulled UALR within a point at 5-4 just over four minutes into the half, but Florida Atlantic answered with four-straight to go up 9-4.
UALR tied the game at nine on a trey by Dillard and bucket in the lane by Neighbour, then knotted the game again at 17-all on consecutive buckets by Isler and Gillon with just under nine minutes left in the half. The Owls rattled off eight-straight to take their largest lead of the half, 25-17, and went up 29-21 on two free throws by Gantt with 1:35 on the clock. Isler connected on a shot to make it 29-23 heading into halftime.
With FAU up eight, layups by Isler and Dillard pulled UALR within four at the 15:45 mark of the second half. The Owls answered with six-straight to go up ten, and eventually took an 11-point lead following a layup by Moody at the 12:03 mark.
UALR trimmed the deficit to eight twice – first on an old-fashioned three-point play by Gillon with just under five minutes to play, and again on two free throws by freshman Kemy Osse with 3:54 remaining. Following Osse’s free throws, free throws by Gantt and Moody put the Owls back up 11, and a three-point play by Moody put Florida Atlantic up 14 with 2:08 left.
The UALR Trojans play its final two regular-season games next week at the Jack Stephens Center. The Trojans host Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. before facing off against Arkansas State in the regular-season finale at 7 p.m. on Saturday.