UALR hangs with No. 15 Memphis before late 11-1 run

UALR went toe-to-toe with No. 15 Memphis for 35 minutes on Friday. Moral victories don’t count but there is plenty to build on from UALR’s 73-59 loss at FedEx Forum.

UALR led the majority of the game before a second-half run by Memphis put the game away.
For the second-consecutive game, UALR blew a halftime lead. But this game felt a lot different than Tuesday's 14-point loss at Tulsa. UALR lost both games by 14 points. But on Friday, the Trojans earned a bit of respect.

Sophomore Josh Hagins led UALR with 17 points while senior Will Neighbour had 15 points.  But it was really an offensive struggle all night for UALR. The Trojans shot 36 percent from the field and made 7 of 20 (35 percent) three-pointers.

Memphis wasn’t much better, making 39 percent of their field goals and 30 percent of their three-pointers. Memphis outscored UALR 20-14 at the free throw line and held a 41-32 rebound advantage.

That was where the game turned in the second half.

UALR jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead and still held a 31-24 lead at halftime on a three-pointer by sophomore Kemy Osse at the buzzer.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Hagins and Neighbour pushed the lead to 39-28 early in the second half. UALR had chances to extend the lead further but turned the ball over on two of its next three possessions. And Memphis started to crawl back in it.

A three-pointer by Chris Crawford gave Memphis a 42-41 lead with 11:44 left.

UALR re-took the lead 46-45 on two free throws by junior DeVonte Smith with 9:42 left. And the Trojans still held a 48-46 lead at the under 8 minute media timeout.

Memphis went on an 11-1 run, finishing on two free throws from Joe Jackson with 4:13 left. It gave the Tigers a 58-49 advantage.

UALR returns to action next Friday, taking on Jacksonville State in British Virgin Islands.