Still, I think most thought UALR would come out of there with three victories. Instead, the Trojans were doomed by a slow start in a 71-68 loss at Calgary.
A jumper by senior Will Neighbour cut the Calgary lead to 69-68 with :41 seconds left. But UALR couldn't get a defensive stop, allowing a dunk by Calgary's Matt Letkeman with 20 seconds left to make it 71-68.
UALR had three chances to tie it. Junior J.T. Thomas missed a three-pointer with 12 seconds left and UALR fouled. After two missed free throws by Calgary with 9 seconds left, UALR got the ball back.
Sophomore Josh Hagins missed a three-pointer, sophomore James White got the offensive rebound and passed to freshman Mareik Isom, who missed a three pointer at the buzzer.
Will Neighbour led UALR with 15 points and 7 rebounds while James White had 14 points and 9 rebounds. Both Neighbour and White were a bit limited with foul issues. Both finished the game with four fouls. White carried UALR early. Neighbour didn't score for the game's first 16 minutes.
UALR shot only 25 percent from three-point range and made just 6 of 16 free throws. That was magnified because Calgary made 21 of 30 free throws. UALR sophomore Kemy Osse made just 1 of 4 free throws while sophomore James White was 0-2 and Josh Hagins was 2-4.
UALR had 19 turnovers, way too many even for an exhibition game like this. Calgary had only 13.
IN IT TO WIN IT?
Just to show the different mindset for these games. J.T. Thomas played a team-high 28 minutes for UALR on Thursday. James White played 24 and Josh Hagins and Will Neighbour each played 22. Calgary's leading scorer played 37 minutes. The Dinos had others play 34 and 28 minutes.
UALR outrebounded Calgary 29-25 and the Trojans had 15 offensive rebounds.
UALR played without senior guard Leroy Isler (back) and freshman forward Andrew Poulter (foot). Sophomore Stetson Billings was questionable (sick) after missing practice on Tuesday. Billings did play on Thursday, scoring 7 points in 16 minutes.
The biggest statistical disappointment had to be junior guard Ben Dillard. After getting the start, Dillard only attempted one shot and had no points in just 11 minutes. Perhaps he was injured.
UALR takes on the University of Alberta on Friday. Gametime once again is 7 p.m.