Trency Jackson isn’t the first Western Kentucky player to crush UALR with a last second-shot at the Jack Stephens Center. In fact, he’s the third.
Jackson’s buzzer beating three-pointer allowed Western Kentucky to beat UALR 79-78 on Saturday after UALR led by as many as 13 points in the second half. The shot will be memorable though not unique in the games between the schools.
In 2011 at the Stephens Center, WKU’s Jamal Crook grabbed a loose ball and scored on a layup with 0.8 seconds left as the Hilltoppers beat UALR 61-59. WKU had run a play for Steffphon Pettigrew but as he attempted the shot, UALR deflected the ball away. It fell right to Crook who kind of tipped it in for the win.
And in 2006, WKU’s Courtney Lee hit a pull-up jumper with 1.6 seconds left to give the Hilloppers a 74-73 victory over UALR. Lee, who went on to play in the NBA, hit the shot with De’Andre Eggins’ hand in his face.
UALR’s pair of losses to Georgia State and Western Kentucky likely take the Trojans out of the running for a top two seed and double bye in next month’s Sun Belt Tournament in New Orleans. At 7-5, UALR still sits in third place. They could drop to fourth tonight if Arkansas State beats Western Kentucky in Jonesboro. UALR then plays the current fifth place team Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday in Lafayette, La.
STAT OF THE GAME
Western Kentucky outrebounded UALR 36-29, including 14-5 in offensive rebounds.
UALR sophomore Josh Hagins had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocked shots and a steal on Saturday. Hagins made 7 of 11 field goals.
GLASS HALF FULL
Mareik Isom had a breakout game of sorts, finishing with 11 points off the bench for the Trojans.
GLASS HALF EMPTY
Isom missed two free throws with 26 seconds left and UALR leading 76-73. He also gave too much space on the final play of the game to WKU’s Trency Jackson. And when Isom slipped, Jackson pulled up and hit the game winning three-pointer.
KING PRIAM’S KEYS
Threes Below 35: Western Kentucky made 12 of 30 three-pointers for 40 percent. Grade: D-.
Win the Boards: WKU held a 36-29 rebounding advantage. Grade: F.
Handle the Pressure: UALR had 15 turnovers to WKU’s 17. Grade: B+.
Free Josh: Hagins was spectacular most of the game. But he did only make 2 of 4 free throws in the final 11 seconds. Grade: B.
WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS?
Western Kentucky was a 1.5-point favorite. If you were inclined to bet on UALR, you still won on Saturday.