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Women go 2-1, Men drop 3 in Texas swing

Submitted by Adrian Miller on February 22, 2017 – 9:08 amNo Comment

By: Adrian Miller
Little Rock (LR) men’s and women’s basketball faced tough battles in their last three games respectively. The programs went on a road trip called the Texas swing where they competed against conference foes UT Arlington and Texas State. They then returned to Arkansas to play in-state rival Arkansas State. The Lady Trojans won two but suffered their first conference defeat. The men lost all three, but in valiant efforts.
The first battle for the men came against Texas State. The Trojans fell 56-49 in a game where both teams shot poorly from the field. The Trojans shot 30.2%, while the Bobcats were only 35.4% from the field. The first half was close and the Trojans only trailed by six at the break, 24-18. The Bobcats commanded most of the second half, but the Trojans went on an 11-5 run to pull within four with 1:36 left. That was as close as the Trojans would get but they did score 22 points in the final four minutes. Senior guard Kemy Osse scored a team high 13 points, while adding 6 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal.
The next test came against UT Arlington. The first half went back and forth and the Trojans only trailed 30-29, going into halftime. The Mavericks went on a 16-1 run about midway through the second half and broke the game open. Senior guard Jalen Jackson hit a 3 with 4:42 left to put the score at 60-53, but that was as close as LR would get. UT Arlington then went on an 11-2 run to win the game 71-55. Senior point guard Marcus Johnson Jr. led the Trojans with 14 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, as well as going 6-7 from the stripe.
The men then traveled to Jonesboro to face in-state foe Arkansas State. A-State won the game 67-58, but the Trojans battled hard. A-State led 53-38 with 9:04 remaining but an 11-1 run brought LR within 5 with 3:16 remaining. The Red Wolves were able to withstand the Trojans comeback effort and secure the victory. Senior guard Jalen Jackson shot over 50% from the field and finished the match with 16 points, 5 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals.
The Lady Trojans broke a record in their first game of the road stretch in their 58-49 victory over UT Arlington. LR started the season 12-0 in conference play, breaking their previous record of 11-0 set in 2010-11. The Lady Trojans outscored the Mavericks 28-17 in the 4th and Senior guard Sharde’ Collins was the high scorer with 17 points. Sophomore forward Ronjanae Degray added 10 more and Freshman guard Kyra Collier put up 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals.
The women then suffered their first defeat in conference play in their next game against Texas St. The Lady Trojans had a bad shooting night, 34.5%, while the Bobcats were hot from the field going 62.2% on the night. LR trailed by 21 at halftime, while committing 10 turnovers. The Bobcats went on to win 64-47, and Collier was the high scorer with 10 points and 6 boards.
LR got back to its winning ways against Arkansas State. They traveled to Jonesboro and picked up their first victory at the Convocation Center in four years. The Lady Trojans forced 21 turnovers and held the Red Wolves to their lowest point total in 41 years. Seniors Kaitlyn Pratt and Sharde’ Collins scored in double digits, with 14 and 13 respectively. But, Ronjanae Degray was the high scorer with 15 points and 9 boards.

The Lady Trojans next game is at the Jack on Thursday Feb. 23 against Georgia Southern and the men return home to face Georgia State on the 25th.

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