It’s not clear exactly when it was determined what role James White would play on Saturday against Texas-Arlington.
After turning his ankle on Thursday in San Marcos, Texas, White was questionable at best going into Saturday’s game. He still wasn’t anywhere near 100 percent, which was obvious when Will Neighbour took the opening tip instead of White.
But White didn’t just gut it out. He dominated the game, especially in the second half. White finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. He made 8 of 12 field goals and 2 of his 3 rebounds came on the offensive end.
It’s a trend that has now reached four games for White. Over UALR’s last four games, White is averaging 14.5 points. That number would likely be higher if he hadn’t missed the second half on Thursday.
But here’s the key, and almost unbelievable, stat. Over those four games (against Southern Miss, Grambling, Texas State and Texas-Arlington) White has made 25 of 33 field goal attempts. That’s an unreal 76 percent from the field.
About the only thing he hasn’t done perfectly is shoot free throws. But he hasn’t been awful there, making 8 of 13 (62 percent).
Not a bad weekend for UALR senior Will Neighbour. In two UALR road victories, Neighbour averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2 steals.
James White had player of the game honors sewed up for most of the 40 minutes on Saturday. Josh Hagins stole it away in the final second. Hagins capped off a 10-point effort by hitting the game winning shot as time expired.
STAT OF THE GAME
UALR went 13 of 20 from the free throw line in the first half, then only 3 of 6 in the second half. Something changed at halftime and it nearly cost the Trojans.
GLASS HALF FULL
Texas-Arlington likes to shoot a lot of three-pointers. UALR held them to just 12 attempts on Saturday. UTA did manage to shoot 40 percent from three point range, but the Mavericks never turned it into a bombing run.
“They’re a very good three-point shooting team. I thought we did a good job getting to the three-point shooters,” UALR Coach Steve Shields said.
GLASS HALF EMPTY
We saw some good contributions from Gus Leeper and Stetson Billings at times. But in general the bench, outside of Josh Hagins, has been a disappointment. The dropoff from first to second unit continues to be far too much.
KING PRIAM’S KEYS
Stifle the Energy: UALR got off to a great start and never trailed on Saturday. Grade: A.
Control the pace: Texas-Arlington entered the game 1-5 when they score 79 or fewer points. UALR held them to Saturday and the Mavs are now 1-6 when that happens. Grade: A.
Clean the glass: UALR and Texas-Arlington tied 37-37 in rebounds. We’ll give UALR the slight edge because the Trojans had 13 offensive rebounds to the Mavericks’ 11. Grade: B-.
WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS?
The line kept sliding the wrong way on Saturday. It opened at 4 points and was Texas-Arlington by 7.5 points at tipoff. However, a bet on UALR was a winner again on Saturday.
UALR hosts South Alabama on Thursday in a return to Sun Belt Conference play. The Jags have their backs up against the wall two games into the season after starting 0-2 this weekend.