UALR Gameday: Trojans hope to avoid ambush at WKU today


1 p.m. today
Bowling Green, Ky.
Vegas Says: UALR by 1
Who knows what to expect from Western Kentucky today? They lost their coach and hadn’t responded very well under Interim Coach Ray Harper through the first half on Saturday at Denver. Then they picked up the intensity and seemed to find something in the second half at Denver.

Now they’ve had a week to crank that up before today’s game against UALR.

It feels like an ambush. Expect WKU to play as well as they have all season.

But can the same be said for UALR? UALR just put together its worst effort of the season in a 19-point home loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday. Steve Shields’ teams are known for their fight and resolve.

The players had a six-hour bus ride on Friday to think a lot about that game and what they could have done differently. Can they use the negative energy from Thursday’s effort to take their toughness to the next level today? They'll need to.

Don’t forget, Fox College Sports (DirecTV 617) is televising today’s game.

BTH Keys to Victory
SURVIVE: UALR has to survive the first 10 minutes today. WKU is playing under a new coach who is buying pizza for the students in their first game back on campus since the break. And WKU spent this week toughening up at practice (they didn’t play Thursday). The pressure’s going to be coming from everywhere early in the game and UALR has to handle it.

MAKE SOME SHOTS: UALR missed 50 field-goal attempts on Thursday against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Trojans are 7-5 this season when they shoot at least 40 percent and Western Kentucky is 0-8 when they shoot less than 40 percent.

POINT GUARD: When D’Andre Williams plays well, UALR generally plays well. D’Andre Williams needs to rebound from Thursday’s struggles.

REBOUND: Rashad Jones-Jennings used to tell me that in most cases rebounding is about “want to.” That is the guy who wants to the most gets the 50-50 balls. UALR can’t get killed on the glass today and expect to win.

Vegas, baby
It's a pick'em in several spots but UALR enters as a consensus one-point favorite on the road today. UALR has only been favored twice this season, beating Louisiana-Monroe and losing to Louisiana-Lafayette.


Appears most are going with Western Kentucky to win a close one.
  • Jeff Sagarin (13-6): UALR 70, WKU 65
  • Omni Rankings (9-5): WKU 65, UALR 62
  • CBS Sports line (13-6): WKU 68, UALR 66
  • The Sports Network (12-7):
  • Real Time RPI (10-9): WKU 69, UALR 65
  • Combination: WKU 67, UALR 66