Once the tidal wave started, it washed UALR away with ease.
UALR fell apart early in the second half on Saturday and lost 74-60 to Southern Miss in the championship game of the BVI Tropical Shootout at Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
UALR led for much of a back-and-forth first half and only trailed 33-28 at halftime after a late Southern Miss run. But Southern Miss rolled early in the second half, building a 20-plus point lead and cruising to victory.
UALR drops to 4-7 on the season with one nonconference game remaining after Christmas against Grambling. Southern Miss improves to 11-2.
The second half collapse by UALR was reminiscent of losses to Tulsa, Memphis, Florida, North Florida and even Southern. UALR’s inability to flip an opponents’ run was again obvious on Saturday.
Sophomore James White was nearly unstoppable for UALR. He made 8 of 11 field goals and finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Senior Will Neighbour added 12 points and 4 rebounds. Sophomore Josh Hagins had 9, all in the first half.
In fact, those three were the only Trojan players who scored in the first 2/3 of action.
UALR also had three technical fouls in the game. The first game before the opening tipoff when sophomore Stetson Billings was called for a pregame dunk. The second came when White hung on the rim after a dunk. And the third went to UALR Coach Steve Shields, frustrated during Southern Miss’ run.
UALR shot 50 percent in the first half but ended up only 20 of 46 for 43 percent. After making 8 of 12 three-pointers on Friday, UALR made 6 of 20 threes on Saturday.
UALR got outrebounded 33-27 and committed 15 turnovers to Southern Miss’ 11.