Trojans win third straight after 0-2 conference start
In head coach Steve Shields’ first game back from a one-game suspension, the Trojans defeated the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 73-68 Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Stephens Center to win their third consecutive game in front of crowd of 3,834.
Shields was suspended for the previous game against Louisiana-Monroe, which the Trojans won 81-50, for following officials after a game in Denver at Magness Arena.
Freshman guard Chuck Guy scored 20 points off the bench to lead all scorers in helping the Trojans (11-9, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) come back from a 10-point deficit (20-30) in the first half with 9:05 remaining. UALR used runs of 9-0 and 10-0 the rest of the way to take a 43-38 lead at the half.
“Our leading scorer was in foul trouble,” Guy said. “The team put it on my back. They gave me the ball and I did what they asked. [We] came out with the win.”
Senior guard Solomon Bozeman picked up his fourth foul with 10:16 left in the game with the Trojans trailing 52-58 and was limited to 21 minutes. Bozeman finished with 15 points. Guy also had five rebounds and three assists in the win.
“Chuck plays with a lot of confidence,” Shields said. “That’s a strength of Chuck. I don’t think he is afraid of any situation. He’s comfortable with the ball in his hands whether it’s the first four minutes of the game or the last minute of the game.”
Ragin’ Cajun guards Randell Daigle and David Perez hit back-to-back 3-pointers to end a 10-0 run at the beginning of the second half to give ULL a 45-48 lead with 15:10 remaining. Daigle had 13 points and Perez had 15, shooting a combined 7-15 from the 3-point line.
Up 69-65 after a Bozeman 3-pointer, Guy stole an inbounds pass from ULL (3-14, 1-5 SBC) forcing a jump ball and Trojan possession with 51 seconds left, ultimately icing the game. “That was a championship play he made diving on the floor and coming up with it, going to a jump ball,” Shields said.
UALR senior forward Derrick Bails recorded the first double-double of his collegiate career scoring 11 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Ragin’ Cajun freshman J.J. Thomas scored 11 points and had 16 rebounds for his second double-double in a row and third on the season in the loss.
The Trojans travel to Florida this week to face Florida International on Thursday and Florida Atlantic on Saturday, before returning home to play in-state rival Arkansas State the following Saturday, Jan. 29.