BTH Analysis: Leeper's minutes productive for UALR on Saturday

UALR sophomore Gus Leeper didn’t score in Saturday’s 79-70 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. But he still had some of his most productive minutes of the season according to Burn The Horse Analysis.

BTH Morning After: Neighbour back on track in UALR's loss to Louisiana-Lafayette

UALR junior forward Will Neighbour appeared to be more aggressive in his offensive approach on Saturday night and it paid off.

Neighbour finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal in UALR’s 79-70 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

UALR gets a lot right, but can't overcome slow start in loss to Louisiana-Lafayette

UALR did much of what it needed to in order to pull off its first road victory of the season.
But a slow start doomed a valiant comeback in a 79-70 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La.

ULL beats UALR 79-70

Louisiana-Lafayette beats UALR 79-70 on Saturday night despite 17 points and 14 rebounds from Will Neighbour. More to come in a bit.

BTH Live Tweetcast: UALR vs. Louisiana-Lafayette live updates

Follow along with the BTH Live Tweetcast via Twitter at @burnthehorse or right here on the Burn The Horse blog. We'll have game updates, information, color, commentary and more.

the game, stop by BTH again for our BTH Vote Player of the Game voting. And we'll have our full game recap and statistics ASAP after the game.

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Mobile users. Follow along on Twitter at this link: CLICK HERE
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BTH Gameday: Inexperienced teams clash as UALR travels to Louisiana-Lafayette

When UALR takes on Louisiana-Lafayette tonight, it will match the two most inexperienced teams in the Sun Belt Conference.

Up next: UALR (8-6, 2-1) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (5-9, 1-2)

Power's still out but we're doing the best with what we have available. Here's the matchup information for tomorrow's UALR vs. Louisiana-Lafayette game.

UALR gets back to work

I love the leadership senior Ted Crass provides for this team.

UALR players report back to Little Rock today

UALR players are scheduled to report back to Little Rock and have practice scheduled for 4:30 p.m. As of a few minutes ago, they remained hopeful everyone would make it back without any weather issues.They'll practice today and Thursday and bus out for Lafayette, La., Friday morning.

UALR doesn't play on Thursday because UALR and South Alabama moved their game to last Saturday.

Louisiana-Lafayette didn't have that option. The Cajuns were scheduled to bus to Jonesboro today (good luck with that) and will play Arkansas State on Thursday. They will then bus back to Lafayette for Saturday's game with UALR.

Happy Holidays to UALR fans from Burn The Horse

It's been another amazing year at Burn The Horse. We've seen our numbers almost double in the past 12 months. And we have only the UALR fans to thank for it.

We wish you Happy Holidays as you celebrate whatever you celebrate.

Go Trojans!!!!!!!!!!

BTH Analysis: Osse, Hagins provide plus minutes in UALR loss to South Alabama

Typically when we analyze the BTH Plus/Minus Statistics, we find everyone to be pretty consistent. When UALR loses big, everyone is well into the minus. When UALR wins big, everyone is far into the plus side. That wasn’t the case during Saturday’s 77-62 loss to South Alabama.

BTH Morning After: Complete effort needed for UALR to secure road victory

What’s it going to take for UALR to get its first road victory of the season? The answer: A more complete effort.

UALR gets back on point, but can't overcome turnovers in loss to South Alabama

62           77

Playing without a point guard for the game’s first eight minutes, UALR not only survived, it thrived.  But the Trojans couldn’t maintain in a 77-62 loss at South Alabama on Saturday afternoon.

BTH LIve Tweetcast: Follow live as UALR takes on South Alabama at 2:05

UALR (8-5, 2-0) resumes Sun Belt Conference play at 2:05 p.m. at South Alabama (5-5, 2-0). Follow along with the game right here on Burn The Horse with our exclusive Live Tweetcast.

BTH Gameday: UALR needs some rebounding "want to" as it takes on South Alabama

UALR needs to improve in toughness, rebounding as Trojans resume Sun Belt play against South Alabama.
When former UALR standout Rashad Jones-Jennings pulled down anincredible 30 rebounds in a game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, I asked him howhe did it.

“I just assumed every shot was a miss and just went and got it,”he told me.

It sounds like he’s oversimplifying it a bit, but he’s not.

You see, Jones-Jennings wasn’t the tallest player, or thestrongest, or the player with the biggest vertical leap. But Jones-Jennings hadas much desire to go get the ball as any player who has been here under CoachSteve Shields. Jones-Jennings had the want to to get it done.

And the current group of UALR Trojans (8-5, 2-0) could use some ofthat as they travel to South Alabama (5-5, 2-0) at 2:05 p.m. today for a SunBelt Conference game.

This group is big. It’s getting stronger. It’s got leapers (andeven a Leeper). But it just isn’t a good rebounding team. It cost the Trojanslast Monday as second-chance points were too much to overcome in a loss to amuch smaller Louisiana Tech team.

UALR’s teams have been known for their toughness over the yearsunder Shields. While opposing teams no doubt still prepare to play UALR like it’sgoing to be a tackle football game, this UALR team is much more finesse (withthe exception of Taggart Lockhart and Leroy Isler). And it’s getting killed onthe boards.

And UALR faces another four-guard type team today in SouthAlabama, a team that hits the glass hard. Getting a body on a body is going tobe a key today and throughout the Sun Belt season.


We don’t expect a big crowd at the Mitchell Center today. South Alabamais averaging only 2,231 through its first three home games. And with studentsaway on Christmas break, the Mitchell Center, one of the nicest in the SunBelt, could be a bit empty.


Today’s game is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. But there’s no way it’sstarting at that time. The Mitchell Center is hosting the UALR-South Alabamawomen’s game beginning at noon. Expect the men’s game to start between 2:15 and2:30.


70 Or Bust: UALR is 8-0 this season when it holds opponents to 69 orfewer points. South Alabama has scored at least 70 in all five of itsvictories. UALR wins if it keeps the Jags in the 60s.
Restrict Rubit: South Alabama’s Augustine Rubit is a beast. He had 23points and 19 rebounds last Sunday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. UALRhas to get a body on Rubit at all times and make someone else beat them.
Turning Point: We expect South Alabama interim Coach Jeff Price to turnup the defensive pressure. UALR has to handle it. UALR is 7-0 this season whencommitting fewer turnovers than its opponents.


We’ve seen the line at anywhere from South Alabama by 6 points to asmany as South Alabama by 8 points. We know UALR has struggled on the road thisyear, but that seems high.


We admit it. We’re homers. But 79-62? Really OmniRankings? I also have a similar reaction for CBS and TSN in the opposite direction:
OmniRankings (3-1): South Alabama 79, UALR 62
Real Time RPI (10-2): South Alabama 70, UALR 68
The Sports Network (9-2): UALR 68, South Alabama 66
Jeff Sagarin (10-2): South Alabama 76, UALR 69
CBS Sportsline (9-3): UALR 70, South Alabama 69
BTH Average (9-3):  South Alabama 72.0, UALR 67.4

What's wrong with UALR's Will Neighbour? It appears nothing

We’ve been asked a number of times what’s wrong with UALR forward Will Neighbour? We guess that comes from people expecting him to put up 20 and 10 every night.

But when you compare this year’s numbers to last year’s numbers, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong. In fact, his numbers are up from last season.

Former UALR players John Fowler, Matt Mouzy walk in graduation this week

From UALR Coach Steve Shields' Twitter account:
Congrats to former players John Fowler and Matt Mouzy for earning their degrees yesterday!

South Alabama interim coach, players shocked by Ronnie Arrow's "retirement"

Ronnie Arrow "retired" as South Alabama's coach on Wednesday. Those around the program say they were shocked by the decision.

Up next: UALR (8-5, 2-0) vs. South Alabama (5-5, 2-0)

UALR travels to South Alabama on Saturday in a matchup of teams that are undefeated in conference play.

UALR prepares for unknown when it faces South Alabama on Saturday

UALR expects to see a slightly different South Alabama team under new Coach Jeff Price. How different? What changes? We can only speculate at this point.

South Alabama Coach Ronnie Arrow retires midweek as SBC play starts back up

Watch more coverage of South Alabama Coach Ronnie Arrow's alleged retirement on Wednesday. UALR takes on South Alabama on Saturday.

South Alabama Coach Ronnie Arrow steps down before UALR game

UALR resumes Sun Belt Conference play on Saturday by facing an opponent without its head coach. South Alabama's Ronnie Arrow has stepped down.

Slight plus/minus adjustment in BTH ratings

A little houskeeping. We were informed that Monday's plus/minus ratings might have been off during the final minutes. And they were. We checked the play by play against the video from the game and there was an error.

The result was that James White was actually +5 instead of +6. And Michael Javes was really -3 instead of -4. Everyone else's numbers remain the same. Sorry for any issues.
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UALR hoop squads complete undefeated season vs. Conference USA

With the UALR women’s 78-51 victory over Tulsa on Tuesday, the UALR men’s and women’s basketball teams completed an undefeated season vs. foes from Conference USA.
The UALR men defeated SMU in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Tulsa this season. The UALR women defeated Tulsa twice, SMU, Rice, Southern Miss and Memphis.
It should also be noted that the UALR men lost twice to Louisiana Tech, who is a member of the Western Athletic Conference but is moving to CUSA next year.
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New and improved mobile coverage of UALR basketball from Burn The Horse

We're still working out some bugs in the system but Burn The Horse is now operating with a new mobile version of the site. It should load automatically when you access our site from your smart phone.
Check it out and let us know what you think while we try to make things a little more accessible.
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BTH Analysis: White's minutes kept UALR close with Louisiana Tech

The key minutes of last night’s game came as Louisiana Tech went on a 7-0 run to take a 72-69 lead. UALR had both point guards John Gillon and Josh Hagins in the game along with Leroy Isler, James White and Will Neighbour.

Click to enlarge
It culminated with Louisiana Tech’s Kenyon McNeaill hitting a three-pointer from the left corner and the Trojans never held the lead again.

That -7 stretch also cost four of the five a chance to stay on the positive side for the night in the Burn The Horse Analysis Plus/Minus Ratings.

White had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line in the final seconds but missed. But the reality is that White's minutes kept UALR in the game. UALR outscored Louisiana Tech 33-27 when he was on the court. That makes him a team best +6 for the night.

The rest of the top five were:
  • Stetson Billings +1 (9-8)
  • Ben Dillard Ev (20-20)
  • John Gillon -1 (61-62)
  • Josh Hagins -2 (38-40)
When Hagins and Gillon were on the court together at the same time, UALR was a -1 (26-27).

Hagins widened his gap over Neighbour in plus/minus per minutes played for the season. He’s at +.20 while Neighbour is at +.15. Hagins also leads at +4.2 per games played. But Neighbour’s +52 overall remains the team best.

Everyone on the roster is now on the plus side for the season.

Update: The play-by-play was wrong. We determined this after checking the video replay of the game. It turns out White was not on the court when we thought he was. Sorry for that. Actually, the ratings weren't off by much. White was actually a +5 instead of +6 and Javes was actually -3 instead of -4. When I used to sit courtside with my laptop, I used to keep real-time substitutions for my numbers. But that's not possible anymore. So I have to rely on the play-by-play, which can sometimes get confusing.

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First UALR Coaches Luncheon scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today at the JSC


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Watch the highlights from last night's UALR-Louisiana Tech game

Here's the highlights from last night's game. You'll have to get over the bitching from the Shreveport sports anchor about what KATV sent him. But you get a good look at James White's attempt to miss the final free throw and how it bounced in the direction of Josh Hagins for a final attempt.

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BTH Photo Gallery from last night's UALR-Louisiana Tech game


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BTH Morning After: Appleby was slated to walk-on at UALR before signing with La Tech

Everytime UALR plays Louisiana Tech we get the same question: Why didn’t UALR recruit Tech’s Raheem Appleby?


Appleby had a game-high 17 points as Louisiana Tech beat UALR 75-73 on Monday at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.

So why didn’t UALR recruit him? The short answer is that they did. In fact, UALR was the only school recruiting him for a while. It came down to scholarship numbers.

Appleby, who played nearby at Jacksonville High School, was a mid-summer academic qualifier. By the time he was qualified, UALR had already signed Ben Dillard, Taggart Lockhart, Michael Javes, Reggie Fondren and Eric Lawton. And the Trojans were maxed out at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships.

With no scholarships to give, Appleby still committed to walk-on at UALR. But when Louisiana Tech lost a signee late that summer, they took a flier on Appleby. He visited, they offered him a scholarship and he signed. And no one should blame him for that.

The real unfortunate part was that Lawton, who was a highly recruited high school player before going to junior college, and Fondren never really worked out. Both transferred after one year at UALR.

Appleby’s a nice player and probably would have earned a scholarship this year if he had stuck with UALR. But UALR followed with a pretty nice signing class of its own. So it appears to worked out for both sides.


Sun Belt Saturday night we get. It's kind of a tradition in our league. But considering the experience of Monday's officiating crew of Randall McCall, Rick Randall and Hal Lusk, we'd expect a better effort than they gave on Monday.


20-3: Louisiana Tech’s advantage in second-chance points.


Freedom rings: Louisiana Tech was 26 of 36 at the free throw line. UALR was 18 of 25. Nowhere near good enough. Grade: D-.
Relegate Raheem: Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby had 16 first-half points. Then he had only 1 in the second half. I suppose you’d give a F for the first half and an A for the second. Average it out. Grade: C.
Pressure cooker: Again, UALR had just 4 turnovers in the first half and 13 in the second half. That’s an A for the first half and an F for the second. Grade: C.


4 turnovers by UALR in the first half.


13 turnovers by UALR in the second half.


19 offensive rebounds by Louisiana Tech. With as little size as they had, that shouldn’t be possible.


If you got in at Louisiana Tech by 2 it was a push. You might have been a winner or loser if you got that half point on either side of that number.


USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin was the only correct predictor.


UALR returns to Sun Belt Conference play as they take on South Alabama on Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Ala. Both teams are 2-0 in conference play.

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BTH Vote: Who was UALR's player of the game on Monday vs. Louisiana Tech?

BURN THE HORSE free polls 

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UALR unable to get key stops as game slips away on Monday


Ultimately, the game came down to a missed free throw and a missed buzzer beater. But the reality is that UALR let it slip away about two minutes earlier.

75     73

The result was a stinging 75-73 loss to Louisiana Tech on Monday night at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. It was the first home defeat for the Trojans this season.

“I thought we saw some fight in our guys. We continued to play very hard and it’s still a learning experience,” said UALR Coach Steve Shields, whose team was down 9 points in the first half. “We’ve got to get better in those situations. But the difference in the game is that we give up 19 offensive rebounds and have 13 turnovers in the second half.”

The play-by-play shows UALR was down 2 points in the closing seconds when John Gillon slipped the ball to James White as he cut to the basket. White was fouled and his shot bounced in and out with 0.4 seconds left. Officials put White at the free throw line with 1.2 seconds left and UALR trailing 75-73.

“John made a great pass, the extra pass,” White said.

White missed the first free throw and UALR called a timeout in hopes of setting up a tip play. The problem was that UALR’s best “tipper” is White and he was the one shooting the free throw. Still when White intentionally missed the second, Will Neighbour tipped it out to the wing where it was retrieved by Josh Hagins. But his rushed final shot hit the front of the rim as the UALR rally fell short.

It should have never come to that.

UALR took a 69-65 lead after a jump shot by Hagins with 3:42 left.

UALR nearly got a defensive stop when Neighbour blocked Kenyon McNeaill’s shot with 3:27 left. But then the Trojans fell asleep as Brandon Gibson went right up the middle of the lane for a layup and a 69-67 score with 3:24 left.

“We talked in the huddle about getting three stops in a row. But we didn’t get any stops, they scored seven straight points,” UALR sophomore Taggart Lockhart said. “They got momentum right there.”

UALR handled the Louisiana Tech pressure but Hagins launched a three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining on the shot clock. It missed and McNeail grabbed the rebound as a foul was called on UALR’s Leroy Isler. McNeaill made both free throws to tie the game 69-69 with 3:03 left.

With a chance to re-take the lead, Isler missed on a three-point attempt and Louisiana Tech’s Michale Kyser grabed the rebound. Good ball movement by Louisiana Tech led to a three-pointer from McNeaill, who is from Conway, with 2:17 left. It gave Tech a 72-69 lead.

And UALR never really recovered. The Trojans got as close as one point a couple of times, the last at 74-73 with 1:07 left when Gillon made two free throws. UALR then had a chance for the lead when defensive pressure forced Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Smith to lose the ball out of bounds with 52 seconds left.

But Taggart Lockhart missed a jump shot at the other end with 22 seconds left. Tech grabbed the rebound and UALR let five seconds run off before fouling Raheem Appleby. He hit 1 of 2 free throws for a 75-73 score with 17 seconds left.

UALR again wasted way too much time with the ball. Instead of getting a couple of opportunities, they only really got one. Gillon finally got the ball to White who was fouled by Kyser as he cut to the basket. But White missed the first, setting of the final second scrum.

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La Tech beats UALR 75-73

More to come in a bit. Mistakes cost UALR down the stretch.

BTH Live Tweetcast: Live game updates as UALR hosts Louisiana Tech

UALR (8-4) hosts Louisiana Tech (8-3) at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center.


Hopefully, you're going to the game. Follow along with the BTH Live Tweetcast via Twitter at @burnthehorse. Be sure and download the UALR Athletics App from the iTunes store and get live statistics throughout the afternoon.

If you're at home, we'll try to keep you updated right here at Burn The Horse with our exclusive Live Tweetcast. We'll have live Tweets from the Stephens Center beginning at 6:50. And throughout the night, we'll have game updates, information, color, commentary and more.

You can also attempt to follow along at home with Ray Tucker and Pat Bradley on Heartbeat 106.7. The UALR Athletics Web site also has live in-game statistics.

After the game, stop by BTH again for our BTH Vote Player of the Game voting. And we'll have our full game recap and statistics ASAP after the game.

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BTH UALR Gameday: Shields' teams have been solid in revenge games

Since UALR Coach Steve Shields took over 10 seasons ago his teams have been very good in same-season blowout rematch games.


UALR has gone 10-1 in games against opponents who beat them by 10 or more points in an earlier meeting the same season. The Trojans (8-4) will get another chance tonight as they host Louisiana Tech (8-3) at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
Louisiana Tech beat UALR 70-52 in November in Ruston, La.
It started in the 2003-2004 season in which UALR won the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division. The Trojans lost 85-50 at Middle Tennessee, and then beat Middle Tennessee 69-62 in the same week.
Typically, the first game has been on the road and the second game at home. The exceptions came in 2010-2011 when UALR lost 86-50 to Oral Roberts in Tulsa and then beat ORU 52-49 in Las Vegas. And last year, UALR lost 68-49 at home to Louisiana-Lafayette and then beat the Ragin’ Cajuns 72-70 in Lafayette, La.
The only loss in the second game during the Steve Shields era came in the 2008-2009 season. UALR lost 79-47 at Western Kentucky in the first meeting. UALR also lost the rematch 78-69 at home in the game in which Steven Moore walked off the bench in the first half.

Here’s the complete list:
  • YEAR         OPPONENT             1ST          2ND
  • 2003-2004  Western Kentucky        L, 86-71    W, 68-60
  • 2004-2005  Middle Tennessee        L, 85-50    W, 69-62
  • 2004-2005  Arkansas State            L, 78-64    W, 73-67
  • 2005-2006  Appalachian State        L, 75-65    W, 78-63
  • 2006-2007  Troy          L, 82-70    W, 79-71
  • 2007-2008  Arkansas State            L, 77-62    W, 82-52
  • 2007-2008  Denver       L, 54-40    W, 66-55
  • 2008-2009  Western Kentucky        L, 79-47    L, 78-69
  • 2010-2011  Oral Roberts               L, 86-60    W, 52-49
  • 2010-2011  South Alabama           L, 92-79    W, 82-68
  • 2011-2012  Louisiana-Lafayette      L, 68-49    W, 72-70
  • 2012-2013  Louisiana Tech            L, 70-52    TBA


If you put stock in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index), tonight’s game should be pretty intriguing. Louisiana Tech comes in rated No. 107 and UALR No. 108 in the RPI, a system utilized by postseason tournament selection committees to compare teams. Louisiana Tech is at 0.5377 and UALR at 0.5374. UALR has played the tougher schedule to date. UALR’s schedule is ranked 142 while Louisiana Tech’s is 283.


Freedom rings: Louisiana Tech gets to the free throw line a ton more than its opponents. UALR wants to get there as well. UALR needs to force the issue and get some easy buckets at the charity stripe tonight.
Relegate Raheem: Whether it comes down to designated stopper Leroy Isler or somebody else, UALR has to limit the points for Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby. In La Tech’s loss to McNeese State, Appleby was held to 4 points. UALR held him to seven in the first meeting and needs to stay on him again tonight.
Pressure cooker: UALR was definitely more composed in handling Tulsa’s press on Saturday. That’s going to have to continue when Louisiana Tech turns up the heat in the backcourt tonight. UALR had 18 turnovers in the first meeting and needs to stay closer to 12 tonight,


Louisiana Tech comes in as a 2 point favorite tonight. UALR has been an underdog at home only once this season, beating Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Four of the five predictors go with UALR by a narrow margin. USA Today's Jeff Sagarin the only one who picks Louisiana Tech. On average, UALR is picked to win by 1.2 points:
OMNIRANKINGS (3-0): UALR 68, La Tech 67
REAL TIME RPI (10-1): UALR 74, La Tech 71
THE SPORTS NETWORK (9-1): UALR 69, La Tech 65
JEFF SAGARIN (9-2): La Tech 76, UALR 73
CBS SPORTSLINE (9-2): UALR 66, La Tech 65
BTH AVERAGE (9-2): UALR 70.0, La Tech 68.8
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BTH Scout: UALR has to handle pressure, execute in half court to have success vs. La Tech

Louisiana Tech is really difficult to figure out. They’ve looked tremendous at times this season, including locking up UALR defensively to beat the Trojans in Ruston, La. But as of late, they’ve lost a couple of curious road games to Southland Conference teams.


What was the common denominator in both games? Louisiana Tech couldn’t get a defensive stop.

UALR hopes that trend continues as the Trojans (8-4) host Louisiana Tech (8-3) at 7 p.m. Monday at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.

Louisiana Tech’s pressure defense, and backcourt pressure, has been solid throughout most of the first month of the season. But in an 89-83 loss at Northwestern State, Louisiana Tech allowed 55 percent from the field. And in an 80-72 loss to McNeese State, Louisiana Tech allowed 53 percent.

For the most part, the other offensive and defensive numbers for Louisiana Tech are pretty solid.

And they were more than solid in the first meeting of the season between UALR and La Tech.

In the first half, UALR made just 7 of 31 (22.6 percent) field-goal attempts. Add to the fact that UALR got outrebounded and the result was a blowout loss.

UALR has to handle the press and execute in the half-court if it is to stay unbeaten at home this season.

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Up next: UALR (8-4) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-3)

WHEN 7 p.m. Monday
WHERE Jack Stephens Center, Little Rock
ALL-TIME SERIES La Tech leads 26-13
LAST MEETING  La Tech 70, UALR 52 (Nov. 14)
TICKETS Available at the Stephens Center box office or by calling (501) 565-UALR. Prices: End zone ($7 adults/$5 children); Level 200 ($12); Level 100 ($18); Leather ($24); Club ($38).
RADIO Heartbeat 106.7 in Little Rock (Ray Tucker, Pat Bradley)
TV None
WEBCAST or UALR Athletics Mobile Phone App
NO PLAYER                       HT      YR   P     PPG   RPG
2      Brandon Gibson     6-5      SR   G     7.6      3.6
3      Raheem Appleby   6-3      SO  G     17.8    3.0
4      Kenneth Smith        6-3      SO  G     7.8      4.9
15   Cordarius Johnson 6-5      JR    G     12.5    3.5
1      Michale Kyser          6-9      SO  F      5.5      6.7
PPG 73.6; FG% 41.9 3P% 31.0; FT% 67.2; RPG 38.2; TOPG 12.7
COACH Michael White (26-19 at La Tech)
NO PLAYER                       HT      YR   P     PPG   RPG
2      John Gillon                6-0      FR   G     11.3    2.8
24   Ben Dillard                6-2      SO  G     6.3      1.5
23   Taggart Lockhart     6-4      SO  G     6.4      3.3
53   Will Neighbour        6-10   JR    F      11.4    6.2
44   Michael Javes          6-10   SO  F      5.2      3.9
PPG 67.8; FG% 42.9; 3P% 35.6; FT% 65.4; RPG 35.8; TOPG 15.6
COACH Steve Shields (155-132 at UALR)
AND ONES  Louisiana Tech is 2-3 in road games this season, winning at Tennessee-Chattanooga and Georgia State. … Appleby (Jacksonville) and Kenyon McNeail (Conway) are Arkansans on the Louisiana Tech roster. … Louisiana Tech assistant coach Isaac Brown was formerly with John Brady at Arkansas State.

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BTH Analysis: UALR outscores Tulsa by 15 with Gillon on the court

One of the things that fans should like most about this UALR team is its ability to have teammates pick up the slack when other teammates struggle.


That was the case again on Saturday in UALR’s 72-65 victory over Tulsa. While some of the typical leaders in the Burn The Horse Plus/Minus Analysis didn’t have great games, others stepped in.

Freshman point guard John Gillon didn’t just lead UALR with 17 points and 7 rebounds. UALR also outscored Tulsa 56-41 with Gillon on the court. His +15 rating was Saturday’s best.

The rest of the top five included:
  • Gus Leeper +9 (14-5)
  • James White +8 (37-29)
  • Taggart Lockhart +4 (55-51)
  • Leroy Isler +2 (35-33)
Josh Hagins still leads the season standings at +.23 per minute played. Hagins and Will Neighbour are tied at +4.7 per game played. And Neighbour’s +56 is best overall.

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BTH Morning After: Shields can joke because UALR held on for win



UALR Coach Steve Shields walked into the media room at the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday and opened with this: “I love freshmen.”
In the aftermath of UALR’s 72-65 victory over Tulsa, Shields could make a joke about his young team, the youngest in NCAA Division I basketball. But after they nearly blew a 17-point lead before pulling it out in the end, Shields knows it’s going to take more when Sun Belt Conference play resumes.
John Gillon
“I thought our guys did a good job late of finishing it off when some free throws and defensive rebounds. But overall, we had too many turnovers,” Shields said, citing the 18 by the Trojans on Saturday. “We had six turnovers at the half and 12 in the second half. But we’re learning. It’s a very young team but we’re getting better.”
Freshmen Josh Hagins, John Gillon and James White are in the regular minutes rotation. And with Gillon and Hagins handling the point guard duties, there’s going to be some ups and downs.
“That’s freshmen,” Shields said.

And that means Shields will have to live with some mistakes while hoping they get less and less each time out.
“Some of those turnovers were not very good decisions,” he said. “Simple plays on the offensive end.”
Improvement never happens as fast as a coach would want it. But Shields does see his young players starting to mature.
“I think we’ve taken steps over the past two months when you think about 8 of our 10 guys who have played the most minutes are freshmen and sophomores,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process every time we come to the floor.”


UALR Coach Steve Shields looked like a genius when he shuffled the starting lineup and UALR got off to a good start. And he was, sort of. Apparently an unidentified player was late to Saturday morning’s shoot-around. And his punishment was to not get the start. Shields wouldn’t identify who the culprit was. But sophomores Ben Dillard and Taggart Lockhart replaced junior Leroy Isler and freshman James White in Saturday’s lineup.
“We had to adjust one because … I don’t know what happened. Hopefully we learn from it and move on,” Shields said.


Welcome back Gus Leeper to the UALR lineup. The redshirt sophomore made 1 of 2 field-goal attempts in seven minutes. He made his first shot, seconds after entering the game, and had a pretty spectacular looking hook shot go in and out a bit later. Leeper had not played since the season opener.


24-16. UALR outscored Tulsa 24-16 at the free throw line.


Turning point: UALR had 18 turnovers. Not good. But after turning it over 32 times against Cincinnati, there was some improvement. Namely, the improvement came in handling the press utilized by Tulsa. Grade: C.
Set the alarm: UALR got off to a great start and built a first-half lead. The Trojans never trailed on Saturday. Grade: A.
Run and gun: No doubt Tulsa worked on transition defense during their week off. UALR was only able to get five fast-break points and wasn’t able to beat the Golden Hurricane by running very often. Grade: D.


UALR freshman point guard John Gillon had 1 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. He also had four turnovers but going 4 of 7 from the field and 3 of 3 from the three-point line makes up for it.


UALR had only 6 offensive reobunds and got out rebounded 40-37 for the game. Tulsa held an 11-7 advantage in second-chance points.


You probably thought I was going free throws. Or officiating. But the National Anthem was brutal. Great voice. But she went Carl Lewis on the lyrics.


UALR entered the game as a 2-point favorite and covered the line. The Trojans are 4-0 this season straight up as a Vegas favorite.


Everyone picked UALR, making everyone a winner. RealTime RPI still leads the overall standings, although OmniRankings remains undefeated.


UALR hosts Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Jack Stephens Center. Louisiana Tech pounded UALR last month in Ruston. The Bulldogs started the season 7-1 but have lost two of their past three. The losses came on the road to Southland Conference schools Northwestern State and McNeese State.
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