UALR scraps for win against Milwaukee
The UALR Trojans used defensive effort and efficient shooting in their 59-43 victory over the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee on Monday, Nov. 19, at the Jack Stephens Center.
Junior Will Neighbour got things started for the Trojans with an easy two-point shot from the lane. Neighbour’s ferocious dunk at the 15:40 mark capped a 6-0 start for the Trojans.
UALR held Milwaukee without a point for the first six minutes of the game, as their first score came on a three-pointer from Aaron Jordan at the 13:54 mark. The Panthers could not make a field goal or a free throw during UALR’s short 6-0 run.
The Panthers came in shooting 41.5 percent as a team from behind the arc. The Trojans utilized tenacity on the defensive end to limit Milwaukee to just 23 percent from the three-point line for the game.
“We felt like, for us to win, we had to limit them to eight or less three-point made baskets,” said head coach Steve Shields.
Demetrius Harris, a Jacksonville, Ark. native, did most of the heavy lifting down low for the Panthers. Harris finished 6-of-13 from the floor with 15 points to go along with five rebounds.
After a steal by sophomore Taggart Lockhart, freshman guard John Gillon chased down the loose ball and raced to the other end, putting the Trojans up 25-18 with 3:20 left in the first half. Milwaukee would answer with a three-point shot from Austin Arians and a dunk by Harris to make the score 25-23 at the half.
The story of the second half was the Trojan defense, as they limited the Panthers to just 7-of-28 shooting from the floor(25%).
Neighbour used his quickness to his advantage, taking the shorter and slower Harris, down into the lane. Neighbour used finesse and quickness to battle Harris’ brute strength. After a series of spin moves, drop-steps and fade-away jumpers, Neighbour finished with 17 points to lead all scorers, going 8-of-15 from the field, to go along with six rebounds.
The two teams continued back and forth for most of the second, with Milwaukee managing to tie the score on three different occasions, but failing to take the lead at any point.
With five minutes left in the contest, the Trojans lead 44-41 and they would go on a 15-2 run to finish out the game, putting it out of reach for the Panthers.
Helped by Neighbour’s willingness to go inside, UALR outscored Milwaukee in the paint 35-16. The Trojans finished with 10 steals, their highest total so far this year.
The Panthers were able to control the offensive boards, outrebounding UALR 15-5.
Neither team shot particularly well from the free throw line as UALR was 9-14 (64.3%) and Milwaukee was 4-10 (40%).
In Neighbour’s post-game interview, he attributed selfless play for the team’s 13-1 run to end the game.
“We stick to the game plan, we play as a team and we share the ball,” he said.
The Trojans take on the Dolphins of Jackson University at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 21, at the Jack Stephens Center. That game will immediately follow the UALR women’s game against Oral Roberts, which is scheduled to tip off at 5:15 p.m.