On senior night, Trojans break records for attendance, wins

Wide angle shot of the Jack Stephens Center filled to capacity during the Little Rock Trojans' win over Arkansas State.

The Little Rock Trojans established a new program record for single-season victories Tuesday with an 89-80 win over Arkansas State on senior night in front of an arena-record attendance of 5,619 at the Jack Stephens Center.

The Trojans are now 27-3 overall, 17-2 in Sun Belt Conference play and own the best record in the country. The team clinched the regular season Sun Belt title on Saturday with a home win over Texas State. Arkansas State dropped to 11-18 and 7-11 in the conference.

“I thought both teams played really well offensively,” head coach Chris Beard said after the win. “Both teams shot over 50 percent with a lot of good individual performances. I thought we won the game with our offense – but give them credit … In all my years in college basketball, I’ve always wanted to have a game with no turnovers, and we came close tonight.”

Little Rock Trojans player Roger Woods holds the rim after a slam dunk
Little Rock Trojans’ Roger Woods scores two of his career-high 30 points in a Tuesday, March 1, 2016, win against Arkansas State. Photos for this article were produced by Nelson Chenault.

In addition to shooting 54.7 percent as a team, Little Rock finished the game with 20 assists against just one turnover. The Trojans are just the second team this season to finish a game with a single turnover, and the 20-to-1 ratio is the best in all of college basketball this year.

Tuesday’s win made the Trojans the first team in Sun Belt Conference history to win 27 of 30 to start a season. The win also capped a perfect 14-0 season for Little Rock at the Jack Stephens Center — the Trojans’ first perfect home season since going 12-0 at home in 1981-82.

Additionally, Little Rock’s 14-win improvement from last season’s 13-18 mark matches a Sun Belt Conference record.

Little Rock led for all but 16 seconds of the game, taking a 48-38 lead into the locker room after shooting 59.4 percent in the opening half. Arkansas State finished the game shooting 50.8 percent, but the Trojans led 22-2 in points off turnovers.

Roger Woods finished the game with a career-high 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Marcus Johnson Jr. added 17 points while Josh Hagins (15) and Lis Shoshi (12) both scored in double figures. Hagins and Johnson combined for 12 assists.

Arkansas State took its only lead of the game on a pair of free throws by Nouhoum Bocoum with 6:04 left in the first half. Little Rock scored on its next two possessions and never trailed again.

Anthony Livingston led Arkansas State with 18 points and 22 rebounds. Devin Carter totaled 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting and Bocoum added 21 points.

Little Rock closes the regular season at Appalachian State on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

 

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