I spent the past 11 hours trying to find something to write about Saturday’s 67-64 loss to Troy. I’ve got nothing. There’s just no way to sugar coat it. Bad loss.
We'll get on with the rest of this bit anyway.
BURN BABY BURN
UALR’s radio broadcasts are hard to listen to. Last night’s was brutal. The pregame show consisted of a stirring rendition of George Clinton’s Atomic Dog. The postgame show consisted of the interview with Coach Steve Shields getting cut off a couple of times. It’s brutal.
Ben Dillard returned from injury but didn’t score in 11 minutes on Saturday. John Gillon did not play. He will undergo further testing in Little Rock on Monday. Right now, it’s expected he’ll miss at least a couple of weeks.
STAT OF THE GAME
6-14 UALR made just 6 of 14 free throws on Saturday, costing them any opportunity to win.
Freedom: UALR made 6 of 14 free throws while Troy made 15 of 18. UALR only attempted two free throws in the first half. They were more aggressive in the second half but didn’t make them when they got there. Grade: F.
70th Heaven: 70 had been UALR’s defensive magic number this season. However, Troy didn’t get there and UALR lost. It’s the first time UALR has lost when giving up less than 70 points. Grade: A.
Will to win: Junior forward Will Neighbour had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. For the most part, he was pretty good. However, 2 of 5 free throw shooting doesn’t cut it. And making 1 of 2 free throws twice in the second half when the game was tight was huge. Grade: B.
Freshman point guard Josh Hagins finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and only 1 turnover.
UALR got a combined 6 points and 5 rebounds out of its post players in 25 minutes.
No excuse for losing at Troy. Even if Mississippi State lost there, plenty of Sun Belt teams are going to get victories there this season.
UALR was a 2-point favorite at tip, making them a Vegas loser.
Winners included Omni Rankings and The Sports Network. Both predicted a 67-65 Troy victory. OmniRankings is now 7-1 and has nearly nailed the score on every game it’s predicted this season.
Struggling North Texas visits the Jack Stephens Center on Thursday. At some point, North Texas, which has the best talent in the Sun Belt, figures to break out of its slump. Hopefully, it’s not then. UALR can ill afford to go below .500 in conference play.