UALR blows second half lead, wastes rally opportunity in loss to Troy

64    67

Even after blowing a 10-point second half lead, UALR inexplicably still had a chance.

But UALR could only get one shot in the final 16.9 seconds as UALR lost 67-64 to Troy on Saturday at Trojan Arena. It was a game UALR (9-8, 3-3) couldn’t afford to lose – especially to Troy (6-10, 1-4).

“The way we lost it, giving up offensive rebounds late. We got beat on the glass tonight 33-28,” UALR Coach Steve Shields said after the game before Heartbeat 106.7’s production cut off most of his postgame interview. “You’ve got to rebound the ball to get stops and you’ve got to make free throws. We shot 48 percent but unfortunately we shot 43 percent from the three-point line.”

But even after a disastrous final 12 minutes, UALR had a chance with the ball down 3 and 16.9 seconds remaining. Instead of going for a quick shot that might have allowed a second opportunity if it failed, UALR passed the ball around until Kemy Osse’s three-point attempt at the buzzer. When that missed, UALR was out of chances as Troy won for the first time in Sun Belt play.

UALR got off to a slow start but rallied to lead most of the first half. UALR built a 10-point second-half lead before falling apart. Troy used a 13-2 run to take the lead and never surrendered it.

Still, UALR had a chance. Josh Hagins hit a jumper with 49 seconds left to cut the lead to 65-64. UALR then got a defensive stop when Emil Jones missed a jumper but Troy’s Ray Chambers tied up Taggart Lockhart for a jump ball on the rebound. It was Troy’s possession arrow. UALR was then force to foul R.J. Scott who hit two free throws for a 67-64 score with 16.9 seconds left.

UALR then wasted most of the final 16.9 seconds before Osse’s three-point attempt missed.

Will Neighbour led UALR with 14 points and 5 rebounds. But Neighbour’s free throw shooting hurt as he made only 2 of 5. JHagins had 14 points, 4 assists, 4 steals and only 1 turnover in a career high 33 minutes. Leroy Isler added 13 points, while Osse added 9.
Despite a big size advantage, UALR couldn’t take advantage with its post players. Michael Javes scored UALR’s first four points, then went scoreless the rest of the game. Gus Leeper had 2 points but was ineffective in his six minutes. UALR also got zero points from Ben Dillard, who played after being injured on Thursday against Western Kentucky.