Neighbour finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal in UALR’s 79-70 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
He was credited with only 10 field-goal attempts, going 4 of 10, but Louisiana-Lafayette had no choice but to foul him all night. Neighbour also finished 9 of 11 from the free throw line and had five offensive rebounds.
With UALR getting very little scoring from Michael Javes (5 points) and Gus Leeper (0 points) right now, Neighbour is going to have to assert himself into the game statistics every night for UALR to be successful.
STAT OF THE GAME
54.2 percent: Louisiana-Lafayette’s shooting percentage in the second half. The Ragin’ Cajuns made 13 of 24 field goal attempts after halftime, including 3 of 7 three-pointers.
Slow Shawn: Through the game’s first 35 minutes, Louisiana-Lafayette’s Shawn Long had 4 fouls and only 4 points. But he finished strong and ended up with a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds. UALR was on pace for an A but flunked the final. Grade: C.
Turning point: UALR was solid in committing only 10 turnovers. That is major improvement. But the Trojans aren’t forcing any turnovers the other way. As a result, Louisiana-Lafayette only had 9. UALR needed to win the turnover battle. Grade: C.
Survive and thrive: UALR got off to a terrible start but survived it and took the lead into halftime. Grade: B.
Josh Hagins had a career high 14 points and added some scoring on a night when the Trojans were struggling to put the ball in the hoop.
It was 8-0 and UALR Coach Steve Shields already had a technical foul before UALR scored its first point.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s Bryant Mbamalu just flat took over the game. He finished with 26 points and UALR had no one who could do anything with him defensively. Mbamalu was 9 of 14 from the field, 2 of 5 from three-point range and 6 of 8 from the free throw line.
UALR couldn’t get close enough in the final minute to become a Vegas winner. The line was Louisiana-Lafayette by 5.5 points and the Cajuns covered that.
Everyone went with UALR except CBS Sportsline, whose faith in the Trojans has dropped them well into last place in the season standings.
UALR gets Western Kentucky at home on Thursday night. WKU is undefeated in Sun Belt play but has played three of their four SBC games at home.