UCA Men’s Basketball Wins Thirds Straight Southland Conference Game

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

CONWAY, Ark. _ Coming off a three-overtime thriller on Thursday night, the University of Central Arkansas Bears had a much easier time Saturday afternoon, beating the Lamar Cardinals 88-59 in Southland Conference action at the Farris Center.

UCA (8-10, 3-5) played all 14 players, with 12 scoring, as the Bears cruised to the victory. The Bears led 52-36 at halftime behind an 8-for-16 performance from three-point range. UCA, the most prolific perimeter shooting team in the conference, finished with 10 threes for the sixth time this season. 

The three-game league winning streak is the longest for the Bears since joining the SLC in 2006-07.

“It was just a good day for us on the basketball court,’ said UCA head coach Corliss Williamson. “After the triple overtime win on Thursday, I thought our guys had a lot of confidence coming into today’s game. We just played well all the way around. Everyone was into it, they were focused. They didn’t care how many minutes they played. They wanted to win this game badly.’

UCA got its first three-pointer of the game just 45 seconds in, by senior Jarvis Garner, and jumped out to a 25-8 lead. The margin reached a high of 24 points on another Garner three with 8:37 left in the half. 

Junior guard LaQuentin Miles led the Bears with 12 points, while senior Robert Crawford, junior Ryan Williams and freshman Zach Padgett had 10 points each. Garner, Williams and Padgett made two three-pointers each. The UCA defense forced Lamar into 25 turnovers and converted them into 34 points.

“We knew coming in they didn’t handle pressure well,’ said Williamson. “He has a lot of young guards over there, and looking at some of their previous games, we felt like if we turned the defense up in the full court, we could force them into some turnovers. Fortunately we were able to do so, and fortunately for us, we were able to convert.

“Some times you get them to turn it over but you don’t go down and finish it. I thought we did a good job today of finishing those plays off. 

UCA finished with 48 points from its bench, including 5 points, 4 rebounds and a blocked shot from freshman center Alexander Ridley, who was playing in just his fifth game of the season.

“I thought the guys that came off the bench for us really turned it up and played well today,’ said Williamson. “They really got us going. You know, our starters really played a lot of minutes on Thursday, so I’m really glad that guys on our bench came in and did what they did.’

The Bears converted 14 of 18 from the free-throw line (77.8 percent) which offset a 39-percent overall shooting game from the field. Lamar was led by Brennan Doty with 10 points off the bench. Amos Wilson had 8 points and 8 rebounds for the Cardinals.

UCA continues its four-game homestand with a matchup against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night.


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