Sugar Bears Seeking Season Sweep of Lady Lions

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

Sugar Bears

CONWAY — Central Arkansas will attempt to sweep its season series with Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday as the Sugar Bears host the Lady Lions at 5:30 p.m. on blackout night in the Farris Center, in a game to be broadcast on ESPN3.

The Sugar Bears (13-6, 6-2 Southland), currently second in the league standings a game behind Sam Houston State, defeated the Southeastern La. (8-11, 1-7) 76-60 in Hammond, La. on Jan. 5 in the second conference game of the season.

Central Arkansas leads the series 8-6, and last swept a season series against the Lady Lions in 2011. Last season, Southeastern was one of two teams to deal the Sugar Bears a defeat in conference play, winning 58-53 in Hammond. 

The Sugar Bears are 5-1 all-time against the Lady Lions in the Farris Center, winning the last three by an average of more than 18 points per game.

In the first meeting this season, the Sugar Bears got a career-high 23 points from senior Britney Gowans, who was 5 of 6 from 3-point range in that game. Megan Herbert had 15 points and 13 rebounds, bringing her career averages against the Lady Lions to 16.9 points and 10 rebounds in seven games. 

Herbert enters Thursday’s game with 2,085 points – just five short of passing former Sugar Bear player and assistant coach Caronica Randle for third place in school history. She is also 10 free throws away from breaking Randle’s school record of 597 free throws made. Herbert, who has recorded four straight double-doubles and has six in eight conference games, needs one more to raise her career total to 77 and move into a three-way tie for fourth-most ever by a Division I player. 

She and teammate Courtney Duever have each posted double-doubles in three straight games, combining to average 31.3 points and 25.7 rebounds. In their last outing, the duo nearly out-rebounded Lamar, collecting a combined 31 to the Lady Cardinals’ total of 32. 

In that three-game span, Herbert has averaged 17 points and 13 rebounds while Duever has pitched in 14.3 points and 12.7 rebounds. Of their 76 total rebounds, 30 have come on the offensive end. The duo has also been nearly perfect at the free throw line, going 33 for 36 (91.7 percent).

The Lady Lions are coming off their first Southland victory of the season, defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 66-54 in Hammond last Saturday. Five Lady Lions scored in double figures, led by Symone Miller’s 14. Brandi Simmons, the team’s second-leading scorer for the season at 9.1, had 12 to go with seven rebounds. Aja Gibson, the team’s leading scorer at 11.5 per game, had 11. Elizabeth Styles also added 11 and Jameika Hoskins 10. Gibson had 11 and Hoskins 10 in the Sugar Bears’ previous meeting with the Lady Lions.

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