Lady Trojans win 100th game in homecoming victory over Red Wolves
The UALR women’s basketball team reached a milestone in its final home game of the season after achieving its 100th win in the Jack Stephen Center against rival Arkansas State University, on Saturday, March 2.
The Trojans (22-7) concluded their regular season by securing the number two seed in the Sunbelt Conference Tournament after a close game against the Red Wolves (15-14).
UALR finished their final home game of the season by shooting 44 percent from the field while ASU trailed closely behind shooting 43.5 percent. Not only did the Trojans connect on more shots, they also stunned the Red Wolves defensively, forcing 23 turnovers.
Three Trojans led all scorers for the night with 13 points apiece. Freshman Shanity James who grabbed eight rebounds-six on the offensive end- was a member of the trio. Likewise, sophomore Kiera Clark dominated the defensive boards, snagging a total of nine rebounds. The offensive facilitator was junior Taylor Ford. She dished out four assists to go along with her 13 points.
UALR maintained a sizeable lead for most of the first half. It seemed as if the Red Wolves would not be of any competition to the Trojans after UALR went on a 10-0 run during the first eight minutes of the game. However, a layup made by ASU’s Ashley Olvera following a UALR turnover brought the game to 17-16 at the 3:43 mark. Following a timeout, Olvera hit another layup, which gave ASU a two-point advantage.
A three pointer from freshman Morgan Bolton put the Trojans up 23-18 as momentum began to shift in the their favor. Morgan, who finished with 5 points, was the only player off the bench to score. The Trojans went into the half with a 25-21 lead.
The beginning of the second half mirrored the first half in that the Trojans came out strong offensively. This time, assist leader Ford was at the receiving end. After a pass from teammate Bolton, Ford shot a big three pointer that once again put the Trojans up by 10 with the score 37-27.
ASU, refusing to go away easily, was able to turn it into a one-point game after a jumper from Jane Morrill with 9:25 left to play. A subsequent layup by Olvera put the Red Wolves up 42-43. Sophomore Ka’Nesheia Cobbins answered by recovering an ASU turnover and converted on a layup that turned into a three-point possession when she was fouled.
Fueled by the fast break, the Trojans managed to go up by four at the 3:22 mark when Ford knocked down a deuce. Determined to put the game away, Cobbins stole the ball and made another layup at the other end; the Trojans led 51-45.
With 23 seconds left to play, Clark decided to mimic Cobbins by getting a steal of her own and raced down the court. Clark went up for the layup and was hit by an ASU defender, but she was still able to roll the ball in for two points. Clark, who was perfect from the line, made the free throw and gave the Trojans their game-winning 58-50 lead.
On Saturday, March 9 at 2:30, the Trojans will take on the winner of next Friday’s game between South Alabama and Troy in the SBC Tournament.