Basketball team blames Canada for two losses
The UALR Trojan Men’s Basketball team ended its trip to Canada with a 1-2 record, winning their last game Saturday after losing the first two contests in the three-day event.
The Battle of the Border exhibition tournament took place at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Calgary Aug 14-17.
The Trojans opened the tournament Thursday with a 71-68 loss to the Calgary Dinos. The Trojans managed to cut a 14 point second half deficit down to one on a shot by senior Will Neighbor, but came up short as the team missed two threes in the final seconds. Neighbor led the team with 15 points and 7 rebounds, while sophomore James White added 14 points and 9 boards.
A cold shooting night doomed the Trojans in the second game of the tournament where they fell to the Alberta Bears 80-67. Sophomore Josh Haggins led the team in three categories points, 14, rebounds, 7, and assists, 5. It wasn’t enough to offset the 33 percent the team shot from the field.
The third and final game found the Trojans in a rematch against Calgary where they fared better and took control of the game in the second half. Neighbor again led the team in scoring, but it was freshman Marius Hill who provided an unexpected boost by going a perfect 5 for 5 from the field to chip in 15 points. The defense held the Dinos to under 40 percent from the field.
Arkansas State also participated in the four team exhibition.
Before the trip coach Shields was looking forward to having the team together during the summer to practice. “We should get a good head start heading into the fall,” he said. “And that’s why you go on a foreign trip.”
For new players like Hill, the coach said the trip to Canada “would be great experience for our young guys and most importantly we get ten days of practice,” he added.