BTH Morning After: UALR survives serious foul trouble to advance

With UALR playing tomorrow night, we'll go ahead and get the BTH Morning After out ahead of schedule.

UALR survived the most serious of foul trouble to beat Jacksonville State 75-70 in the opening game of the BVI Tropical Shootout on Friday night at Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Yet, amazingly, UALR didn’t have a single player foul out of the game thanks to superb use of the bench by UALR Coach Steve Shields.

UALR finished with two players with four fouls (DeVonte Smith and Ben Dillard), and three players with three fouls (Leroy Isler, James White and Gus Leeper). That doesn’t sound all that bad. But the reality was that, minus the third for Leeper and White, this was UALR’s foul situation early in the second half.

Dillard picked up his third late in the first half and Smith and Isler got their third early in the second half. Dillard then got his fourth soon after re-entering the game in the second half.

But Josh Hagins and Will Neighbour weren’t in foul trouble and they kept UALR ahead until reinforcements arrived from the bench.


UALR went without radio for the first half of the game. Then when the signal finally showed up on Heartbeat 106.7 it was the Jacksonville State broadcast. It was the culmination of a series of events not fitting for UALR fans.

First, UALR play by play broadcaster Ray Tucker didn’t make the trip to the British Virgin Islands. Why? We were told Tucker couldn’t locate his passport. Then there was some sort of issue getting Jacksonville State’s play-by-play signal on the air in Little Rock.

However, enterprising fans listened to the game on Jacksonville State’s Web  broadcast, which worked the entire game. The only problem was their announcer calling Will Neighbour “Wes” and mispronouncing Leroy Isler’s name throughout. But, hey, at least he made the flight.

Sucks for local advertisers who didn't get to pitch their products to us tonight. Perhaps they'll get a refund.

No word on tonight’s radio.


8 of 12. UALR shot 67 percent from the three-point line, making 8 of 12. Ben Dillard made 3 of 4, Josh Hagins 2 of 3, Kemy Osse 1 of 1, Leroy Isler 1 of 1 and Will Neighbour 1 of 3.


Ben Dillard provided a huge first-half spark in scoring a career high 18 points to lead UALR. Dillard made 5 of 6 field goals, including 3 of 4 three-pointers. He also made 5 of 6 free throws and had a steal.


UALR held a 40-27 advantage in rebounds. That included 12 from James White, 10 from Will Neighbour and 6 from Josh Hagins.


UALR won despite a subpar game offensively from Will Neighbour. He finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. But he made only 3 of 10 field goals and never got untracked offensively.


Don’t pass glass: UALR won rebunds 40-27. Grade: A.

Punch the clock: Despite two lengthy travel days to get there, UALR was ready to play from the start and never trailed on Friday. Grade: A.

Confidence in Twos: Ben Dillard (18 points), Josh Hagins (16 points) and Kemy Osse (5 points) were all more than solid at the 2 Guard position. Grade: A.


UALR was a favorite for the first time this season and covered the three points.


Waiting on the Southern Miss-Coppin State final. UALR gets the winner on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Central.