Jan. 25, 2014
CONWAY, Ark. – It was a matchup of the top two defensive teams in the Southland Conference, and the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks came up short as the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears used a long run in the second half to pull away and defeat the Ladyjacks 65-42.
UCA (12-6, 6-1 SLC) went on a 21-0 run in the second half to put the game out of reach for SFA (10-9, 4-3).
The Ladyjacks trailed by four points at halftime and came out in the second half to quickly pull within a point, but that is when the Sugar Bears got hot and ran away.
After Porsha Roberts hit a pair of free throws to make it 34-33 in favor of UCA, the Sugar Bears went on a 20-2 run to extend the lead to 19 points. That run would continue with the Ladyjacks not scoring a point over an eight-minute stretch. By then, the Ladyjacks trailed 63-37.
Two of the league’s top players went head-to-head with Roberts facing UCA’s Courtney Duever. Each had a strong showing for her team, but it was Duever and the Sugar Bears that came out victorious to stand atop the Southland Conference standings.
Roberts finished the day with 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Taylor Ross joined her in double digits with 11 points and four rebounds.
Duever entered the game as one of only three players in the league averaging a double-double during conference play. Duever finished the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
SFA was able to frustrate her in the first half with a 2-for-8 shooting performance, but she got to the free-throw line to get her points. Duever was 7-of-11 in the second half, however.
It was a defensive battle in the first half with SFA limiting UCA to just 32.1 percent shooting in the first half. That mark was significantly below the Sugar Bears’ average of 45.0 in conference play. The
Ladyjacks pulled down 13 defensive rebounds in the opening stanza, but eight turnovers helped prevent SFA from taking advantage of UCA’s poor shooting performance.
The defensive effort in the first half was not enough with UCA going on its run in the second half. The Sugar Bears countered their first-half showing with a 52.0 percent shooting clip in the second half.
The Ladyjacks return home next week for contests against Southland Conference newcomers Abilene Christian on Thursday and Incarnate Word on Saturday.