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College Round-Up for Dec. 31

BASKETBALL

Women’s

Hendrix Erases 15-Point Deficit

CONWAY — The Hendrix College women’s basketball team overcame a 15-point deficit with just over 10 minutes to play to defeat Schreiner University 64-61 in the final game of the La Quinta Inn & Suites Holiday Classic on Monday afternoon.

The visiting Mountaineers (5-6) led 54-39 with 10:16 left in the game, but the Warriors (5-6) ended the game on a 25-7 run. Hendrix took their first lead of the second half when sophomore point guard Caitlin Kriesel-Bigler buried a three-pointer to make it 63-61 with 1:04 left.

Kriesel-Bigler led the Warriors with 12 points and had three assists. Senior forward Katie Coughran, freshman guard Taylor Neal and freshman forward Anna King each had 10 points. Peyton Hurst finished with eight rebounds and four assists. Tate had five points and three assists to go with her 18 boards, tied for the ninth most in school history. Sophomore forward Katy Gallien came off the bench to add four points and four assists.

Hendrix will return to action on Saturday when they host Centenary College of Louisiana at 2 p.m.

A-State’s second half rally falls short

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Arkansas State women’s basketball team lost its final non-conference game of the season Monday night, falling to Texas A&M 80-62 at Reed Arena.

The Red Wolves (6-6) never led in the game but trailed by just six points at 64-58 with 5:08 to go in the game after Jalen O’Bannon hit a floater in the lane with 5:06 to play. The basket came after an Aggies turnover, one of 12 miscues for Texas A&M on the night. Arkansas State failed to pull any closer, however, after it failed to collect a rebounds on back-to-back free throw attempts from the Aggies. Texas A&M used the momentum to its advantage and went on a 16-4 run to close out the game.

Aundrea Gamble scored a team-high 17 points and dished out five assists, while Qedan and O’Bannon each finished with 10 points. Jasmine Hunt led the squad with eight rebounds and also scored six points, while Jane Morrill just missed double-figures scoring with nine points.

The loss to the Aggies snapped A-State’s six game winning streak over SEC teams, which dated back to the 1996-97 season. Since that time the Red Wolves had collected victories over Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas. This was the first time that the Red Wolves had faced an SEC team since the 2007-08 season.

A-State will open Sun Belt Conference play Jan. 2 against newcomer UT Arlington.

Men’s

A-State defeats Southern Arkansas

JONESBORO — An offensive surge by Arkansas State University midway through the second half helped the Red Wolves’ men’s basketball team claim a 91-66 home win over in-state Southern Arkansas Monday night in a non-conference tilt at the Convocation Center.

A-State only held a 36-34 lead at the half before breaking a close contest wide open in the second half by outscoring the Muleriders 25-6 over a seven-minute period to earn its second straight victory and close out 2013 on a winning note.

With the win, Arkansas State improves to 7-4 overall and is now 4-1 on its home floor this season.

Senior guard Brandon Reed finished with a game-high 19 points of which 12 came in the second half. Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke compiled 17 points and grabbed six rebounds as did senior guard Melvin Johnson III, who supplied 16 points. Senior guard Ed Townsel contributed a season-high 13 points off the bench.

Southern Arkansas had two players in double figures as Jeffrey Walker poured in 17 points to go with nine boards as a reserve and Chauncy Williams had 16 points coming off the bench in the setback. The contest served as an exhibition for the Division II Muleriders due to the NCAA rule of having a certain number of regular-season games versus Division I competition.

The Red Wolves will open the 2014 New Year and Sun Belt Conference (SBC) play Thursday on the road versus conference newcomer the UT Arlington Mavericks.

Trojans close non-conference slate with win

LITTLE ROCK — UALR (5-7) closed out one of the toughest non-conference schedules in school history with an 88-68 win over Grambling (1-8) Monday night at the Jack Stephens Center. The Trojans dished out a season-best 23 assists and shot a season-high 59.6 percent from the floor in the win, led by sophomore James White’s 16-point performance on 7-of-7 shooting.

Senior Will Neighbour scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds to narrowly miss his third double-double of the season. Neighbour also added four steals and a career-high five assists.

Sophomore Ben Dillard, making his first start of the year, scored 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting and a 6-of-8 effort from the foul line. Sophomore Kemy Osse scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting while grabbing a career-high eight rebounds. Classmate Josh Hagins was limited to two points, but handed out seven assists and committed zero turnovers on the night. UALR is now 7-1 over Hagins’ career when he dishes out five or more assists.

UALR returns to action when it begins Sun Belt play at Texas State on Thursday.

Bears roll to easy win

CONWAY — Jalen Jackson and Tirrell Brown combined to make 20 of 25 shots from the field to carry the University of Central Arkansas Bears to an easy 121-77 victory over the Ecclesia Royals on Monday at the Farris Center.

The point total was the highest for a UCA team since the Bears scored 142 against Philander Smith in 1990. The Bears (3-8) broke a five-game losing streak to gain some momentum before opening Southland Conference play at home on Thursday night.

Jackson, a freshman from West Memphis, scored 21 points and pulled down 9 rebounds, hitting 10 of 15 shots from the field. He also added a team-high 7 assists and tied for the lead with 4 steals. Brown, a sophomore from Jacksonville playing just his third game of the season, was even sharper, going 10 of 10 from the field for career highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds.

LaQuentin Miles, the reigning SLC Player of the Week, had 14 points, as did freshman Ethan Lee. Senior DeShone McClure added 10 points and 5 assists as UCA finished with a season-high 26 assists.

UCA hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7:30 Thursday in its SLC opener, and is also at home Saturday afternoon against league newcomer Houston Baptist.

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