CONWAY, Ark. — The Lamar Cardinals (3-25/2-14 Southland) had no answer for Central Arkansas’ LaQuentin Miles who scored 30 of UCA’s 76 points Saturday night to help the Bears defeat LU, 76-69.
“We didn’t pass the toughness test tonight,” said interim head coach Tic Price. “I thought Central Arkansas played with a sense of urgency. They beat us off the dribble and we had no help in our rotations. We should have done a much better job of containing dribble penetration. UCA’s best offense comes from the dribble-drive, and then getting put backs. We didn’t do a good job of stopping that. We also should have had better shot selection than we did. There were too many turnovers in crunch time.”
The first half was a close back-and-forth affair that saw neither team gain an advantage larger than five points. The first 20 minutes saw the game tied four times with 11 lead changes, with Central Arkansas taking the lead into the locker, 40-36.
Lamar connected on 11 of its first 19 attempts (.579) from the field, but UCA was able to match Lamar hitting 11-of-17 (.647), including four of their first seven attempts from beyond the three-point arc. The Bears also took advantage of Lamar’s turnovers, where the Cardinals struggled to convert on the UCA miscues. Central Arkansas scored 11 points off nine first-half turnovers, while LU could only convert Central’s eight turnovers into four points.
After the hot start, Lamar fell off the pace hitting only three of their next 14 attempts, while UCA was four of 10 to close the half.
Central Arkansas came out and created some breathing room early in the second half. The Bears built an eight-point advantage, and were on the verge of breaking the game open when Lamar began chipping away at the lead. Lamar went back in front after forcing a turnover on one end, which turned into an Anthony Holliday to Donovan Ross alleyoop on the other. The fast break bucket gave the Cards a one-point advantage, 58-57, with 5:50 remaining.