UALR overpowered an overmatched Grambling State on Monday night, winning 88-68 at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
UALR was a little loose with the ball at the start but quickly pulled away from Grambling, which has only one victory this season – against a non-Division I school – and a loss to NAIA Lyon College.
But UALR seized control by the game’s second media timeout, pushed the lead to 16 at halftime and to more than 30 points in the second half. Only a late garbage time run by Grambling made the score a little more respectable.
UALR improves to 5-7 on the season and begins Sun Belt Conference play Thursday night at Texas State.
Sophomore James White led UALR with 16 points. Senior Will Neighbour added 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Neighbour made a solid 7 of 11 field-goal attempts but made only 1 of 4 free throws.
Junior Ben Dillard, making his first start to the season, added 13 points. Sophomore Josh Hagins, who had been starting at the 2 guard, spent much of his time at the point on Monday. He attempted only two shots and finished with 2 points. But he had a team-high 7 assists without a turnover.
UALR trailed 5-4 early before taking its first, and only, lead of the game with 15:09 left on a jumper by Neighbour. Dillard was key early in the half, Neighbour late as the Trojans took control. After shooting 70 percent from the field in the first half, UALR’s lead was 39-23 at intermission.
UALR made 34 of 57 field goals (60 percent) while holding Grambling to 25 of 63 (40 percent). Again, Grambling’s percentage was on the rise after the game was long decided. UALR held a 43-27 rebounding advantage and had 23 assists on its 34 made field goals.
The negative was turnovers. UALR had 16 while forcing Grambling into 14.