Bears shock Cards

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lamar sports information

CONWAY, Ark. – Central Arkansas’ hot second-half shooting turned a tie ballgame at halftime into a double-digit 93-76 win over the Lamar men’s basketball team in the Farris Center on Saturday afternoon in Southland Conference action.

UCA (2-11, 1-2 SLC) came out of the locker room and hit 58 percent of its shots (19 of 33) and was 22 of 24 at the free throw line in the second half alone. Through the first 13 minutes of the half, the Bears were shooting at a 64 percent clip (14 of 22).

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The Central Arkansas was also able to capitalize on LU’s (9-6, 1-2) 18 turnovers with 20 points versus the Cards’ seven points from UCA’s 12 miscues and outscored Big Red in the paint, 46-26.

“Obviously we didn’t come out of the half with the fire that we needed to, we didn’t defend in the second half,” said head coach Tic Price. “Between their shooting in the second half and our turnovers, that is enough to get you beat.

“We’ve got to defend better, we did a poor job in transition defense,” said Price.

The first 5:10 of the second half moved the halftime score and pushed it to a 50-38 Central Arkansas lead with a 19-7 run, mainly on the backs of 80 percent shooting from the Bears (8 of 10) and 20 percent from the Cardinals (3 of 15).

Sears finished the game with his third double-double of the season on 12 points and 13 rebounds. Nick Garth, Marcus Owens and Quan Jones, in his homecoming, finished with double-digits in points with 16, 13 and 14, respectively.

For the game, Lamar shot 29.9 percent from the field (23 of 77), a season low, and 30.8 (8 of 26) percent from beyond the arc. UCA’s 44.9 percent shooting (31 of 69) for the game was the highest LU has given up since league play started. It also shot 35.3 (6 of 17) from behind the three-point line.

For the Cardinals, Lincoln Davis had nine points and Preston Mattingly and Josh Nzeakor each added six. Nzeakor also added his second double-digit rebounding effort in as many games with a season-high 11 boards. LeMon Gregory had six rebounds and Mattingly and Owens each contributed five.

Behind Brooks, UCA had Kamba at 18 points, Howard with 15, Foreman at 12 and Jeff Lowery with 11.

The Cardinals fell down early by as many as three points, UCA’s largest lead of the first half. Down 8-5, LU opened up a 7-0 run to jump up 12-8. Sears, the half’s point leader, drained two free throws to make it 8-7. Mattingly had a tough, inside shot fall through for LU’s first lead of the game before Nick Garth scored a three-pointer for the 12-8 advantage.

The Cardinals would eventually increase the lead to six (17-11), but the Bears eventually rallied to knot it at 21-21, and from there neither team would hold a lead above three points- which the Red and White got from a three-pointer from Sears at 3:13.

LU will be back in the Montagne Center Monday evening to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders have been one of the league’s hottest teams to start the season posting a 10-3 (.750) record. They have  won 10 of its last 11 games, and four straight, entering the start of league play. The game against the Islanders will be televised on the American Sports Network and can be heard on KLVI-AM 560 on the radio or iHeart radio app.