Trojans fall in OT to Mean Green
After an aggressive effort in the first half that saw them get to the foul line early and often, UALR was unable to keep the momentum going and fell 75-67 to North Texas on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Jack Stephens Center.
“We were very aggressive in the first half, getting the ball into the paint,” head coach Steve Shields said. “I thought in the second half we weren’t nearly as aggressive.”
With a win, UALR (14-15, 11-4 Sun Belt) could have sewn up the Western Division title outright and secured a No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. They will have another opportunity on Saturday, when they host ASU for the final regular-season game of the year.
North Texas took advantage of the Trojans slow start in the second half, going on a 15-5 run over the first six and a half minutes.
Senior forward Courtney Jackson was able to hold Mean Green forward Tony Mitchell to just four points in the first half. The defensive effort wasn’t lost on Shields.
“I thought Courtney did an excellent job,” Shields said. “That’s a tough challenge, when you’re having to guard a Pro, and Tony Mitchell is a Pro, he’ll play in the NBA someday.”
Mitchell finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double.
The Trojans finished minus 11 in rebounding margin for the game and Shields said he thought that was the state to look at when trying to figure out what went wrong.
“We were up four on the glass at the half and I felt like that was something that we had to continue and we ended up getting beat [by] 11 on the glass,” he said.
UALR was able to cut the lead to five points at 59-54 with 2:48 left in regulation and was able to take the game to overtime after a basket by Jackson and three-pointer from sophomore Chuck Guy.
The Trojans came out flat in the overtime period and North Texas took advantage, going up by four points and eventually going 5-of-5 from the field in OT and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Senior point guard D’Andre Williams finished with 18 points to lead the Trojans. Guy finished with 16 points and six rebounds. Jackson ended with a double-double as he had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The Trojans will close out the regular season at home against ASU on Saturday, Feb. 25. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.