Whew! Talk about a major sigh of relief.
A loss on the opening night to Calgary wasn't great. But it was the first game and a slow start doomed the Trojans.
A loss on the second night to Alberta could be explained. Alberta is among Canada's best teams and a likely contender for their national championship. Alberta lost to Arkansas State on Thursday before coming back to beat them on Saturday.
But another loss to Calgary would have been difficult to stomach. UALR made sure that didn't happen. The Trojans shot the ball terribly from the international three-point line in the tournament. So UALR pretty much abandoned that on Saturday. UALR made 2 of 7 three-pointers the entire game, one by senior Will Neighbour and one by junior DeVonte Smith.
UALR cut its turnovers down to 10 and outrebounded the Dinos 39-26. UALR also got to the free throw line, making 17 of 21. That's going to be the recipe for success for this team.
Junior forward Gus Leeper finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocked shots. He made only 3 of 7 field-goal attempts but had 6 offensive rebounds.
Calgary made 8 of 19 three-pointers for 42.1 percent.
UALR shot just 28.6 percent from the three-point line.
How about this night for freshman forward Maurius Hill? He went 5 of 5 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line for 15 points. He also had 4 rebounds in 14 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
In UALR's big third quarter, the Trojans outscored the Dinos 12-3 in points off turnovers. UALR outscored Calgary 21-12 in that stat for the game.
IN IT TO WIN IT?
Junior J.T. Thomas played a team high 25 minutes. Ten of the 11 players saw at least 18 minutes of action. UALR started Josh Hagins, J.T. Thomas, Stetson Billings, James White and Will Neighbour. UALR was once again without Leroy Isler (back).
UALR's next game action comes in the season opener in November.