UALR Gameday: Trojans get rematch with Northwestern St.


Northwestern State (3-3)
vs. UALR (2-4)
7 p.m. tonight
Natchitoches, La.
Vegas says: So far it doesn't
UALR travels to Natchitoches, La., tonight to take on Northwestern State for the second time this season.

Northwestern State is 3-3 on the season, including a 72-66 loss to UALR last month at the Jack Stephens Center.

UALR and Northwestern State have been a lot alike in the early part of the season:
  • Field goal percentage: UALR 36.5; NSU 38.3
  • Three-point percentage: UALR 26.6; NSU 24.3
  • Free-throw percentage: UALR 73.3; NSU 56.6
Dare we say UALR has been a better shooting team this year? They certainly were in the first meeting of the season. UALR shot a season-high 49.1 percent while holding Northwestern State to 35.7 percent. A large part of that was UALR’s domination in the paint with a 26-14 advantage. That was important because NSU got to the free throw line 31 times to UALR’s 22.

That brings us to tonight’s game where Northwestern State is no doubt looking for some revenge. Take not of NSU senior Louis Ellis’ post on Twitter:

“Time for scout.. #HoopSquad gotta kick Arkansas Little Rock ass tomorrow!! We owe them mfss!!”

Shamir Davis leads Northwestern State at 13 points per game. He had 11 in the first meeting. Gary Roberson had 14 points in that game despite averaging 8.8. Where UALR did a good job in that game was on senior forward William Mosley. He averages 8.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks. He’s getting three offensive rebounds per game. But in that game he was held to just 3 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Northwestern State doesn’t shoot free throws particularly well, but they make up for quality with quantity. The Demons have been to the free throw line 176 times this season. To compare, UALR has only been 116 times.

So what has to happen to get a W in Louisiana tonight?

UALR has to get more assists. No doubt the Trojans would have more assists this season if they’d made more shots. After all, there’s no assist for a missed shot. However, UALR needs to get good shots. That means passing up a good shot for a better shot

Northwestern State didn’t play much zone in the first meeting. We’d expect to see some more of it tonight. UALR has to make the open shots that the zone gives up. That doesn’t necessarily mean three-pointers. It’s much more about the midrange jumpers that haven’t been going in.

And rebounds. No way they can allow Mosley to dominate the paint and expect to win. UALR has done a better job of interior defense in recent games. That’s got to continue tonight.

Las Vegas has not set a line for tonight’s game. This marks the third time this season there has been no line for a UALR game. The Trojans have won both of the previous times.

Tonight’s predictions:
  • Real Time RPI (4-2): NSU 73, UALR 67
  • Ken Pomeroy (4-2): NSU 68, UALR 67
  • CBS Sports line (4-2): NSU 71, UALR 68
  • The Sports Network (4-2): Still waiting