BURN THE HORSEThe slowest of slow starts picked up the pace in time for UALR on Friday.
UALR survived 15 percent first-half shooting by blistering the nets at 70 percent in the second half as the Trojans beat Louisiana Tech 74-65 at the Jack Stephens Center.
Senior Solomon Bozeman led UALR with 23 points while senior Alex Garcia-Mendoza added 17. It came on the heels of Wednesday's 86-60 loss at Oral Roberts.
"I thought our guys did a really good job today on the constants that we can control every time we come to the floor, and those are effort and rebounding the ball," said UALR Coach Steve Shields said.
But it was the reemergence of senior Derrick Bails that provided an unlikely spark. Bails was suspended for the season's first two games and was a non-factor in the next three. But he had 11 points on Friday and helped spark a comeback from 14 points down.
With Bails in the middle, UALR was able to play a four-guard lineup that left Louisiana Tech unable to guard without fouling. And the Trojans fought back.
It appeared the lead would be only four points at halftime when Louisiana Tech's DeAndre Brown's three-point prayer went in at the buzzer to keep the lead 29-22.
But the Trojans took control from the start of the second half.
The game was tied 46-46 when senior Matt Mouzy missed on a three-point attempt. But Garcia-Mendoza grabbed the offensive rebound, dribbled with the left hand and scored to give UALR the lead. He also made a free throw on the play as UALR took the lead for good.
A three-pointer by Bozeman with 4:20 left upped the lead to 59-54 and a turn-around jump shot by Bails with 3:02 left made it 63-58. A three-point play by freshman Chucky Guy and a jump shot by Bozeman put the game out of reach.