Lions close homestand with win
FORT SMITH — UAFS shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field and three player scored in double-figures as the Lions beat the Dallas Baptist Patriots 74-56 on Saturday afternoon at the Stubblefield Center.
It was the second win in a row for the Lions (9-3, 2-2), who completed the sweep of the Heartland Conference homestand. UAFS beat Oklahoma Christian 86-76 on Thursday night.
It was the final game of a two-game homestand for the Lions, who won’t play their next home game until Thursday, Jan. 23, when they host McMurry University at the Stubblefield Center.
UAFS will spend the next two weeks on the road with conference games against Oklahoma Panhandle State (Jan. 9), Newman (Jan. 11) and Rogers State (Jan. 18).
Senior guard Jake Toupal scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Lions, who held a comfy 45-35 halftime led. Freshman guard Seth Youngblood chipped in 12 points, including three 3-pointers, and junior guard Blake Branham added 11 points off the bench.
Hagins’ buzzer beater lifts UALR
ARLINGTON, Texas – A long two-point jumper from the top of the key by sophomore Josh Hagins lifted UALR (7-7, 2-0 SBC) to a 72-70 win over UT Arlington (5-9, 0-2 SBC) Saturday afternoon at College Park Center. With the game tied and 31 seconds remaining, UALR dribbled down the clock before Hagins took a pass from DeVonte Smith, pump faked and drained the jumper just as time expired.
Senior Will Neighbour tallied his third double-double of the season and 11th of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks and two steals. Playing on an ankle he rolled in Thursday’s win at Texas State, sophomore James White matched his career best with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Junior Ben Dillard chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, while Hagins added 10 points, four rebounds and three steals to give the Trojans four players in double figures.
UALR returns to action on Thursday when it hosts South Alabama at the Jack Stephens Center.
Red Wolves win fourth straight game
SAN MARCOS, Texas — Make it four wins in a row for the Arkansas State University men’s basketball team as the Red Wolves improved to 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference (SBC) play by earning a hard-fought 74-69 road victory over Texas State Saturday at TSU’s Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos, Texas.
With the win, Arkansas State improves its overall record to 9-4 on the season and equals the Red Wolves’ best start since the 2008-09 campaign which represented A-State head coach John Brady’s first season at the helm. A-State also won its fifth away game this season to match last season’s wins total as the Red Wolves went 5-9 in on the road a season ago.
Arkansas State, which had five players in double-figure scoring, received a career-high 20 points from sophomore guard Cameron Golden with four of his buckets coming from beyond the three-point arc. Senior guard Ed Townsel connected on three three-pointers to finish with 12 points off the bench while senior forward Kirk Van Slyke tallied 11 points to register his 12th double-figure scoring performance of the season. A pair of senior starters, forward Kendrick Washington and Brandon Reed provided 10 points in what was the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Arkansas State will seek to extend its current winning streak as the Red Wolves continue conference action with a two-game homestand at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves square off against the Troy Trojans Jan. 9 before facing the South Alabama Jaguars on Jan. 11.
Johnson leads Reddies to win
ARKADELPHIA — Deoirvay Johnson scored 22 points to lead Henderson State (6-6, 2-2 GAC) to an 87-78 win over Southern Nazarene (5-6, 3-2) in Great American Conference basketball action on Saturday.
Ronald Lawson ended the game with 17 points and seven rebounds for the Reddies, while Taylor Smith scored eight points and grabbed seven boards.
The Reddies will hit the road next Thursday traveling to Searcy to face the Bisons.
Persistent Weevils keep winning streak alive
MONTICELLO — Despite shooting a season-low 38 percent from the field and missing 17 free throw attempts, the University of Arkansas at Monticello (10-2, 4-1 GAC) recorded its eighth straight victory of the season on Saturday, defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State 65-57 at home.
With Jared Harrison’s five free throws in the final six minutes of the game, the Slidell, La. native increased his point total to 16 for the game to tie Southeastern’s Urald King for the game-high in scoring. Sharif Hudson added 15 points, and senior Brandon Wilson added 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Weevils are back in action on Jan. 9 at Southern Nazarene.
Bears cruise to first SLC victory
CONWAY, Ark. _ The University of Central Arkansas Bears used their second-best shooting performance of the season to record their first Southland Conference victory, cruising past Houston Baptist 86-69 on Saturday at the Farris Center.
The Bears (4-9, 1-1) were well above 50 percent from the field for the majority of the game and finished at 50.8 percent. Defensively, they held the Huskies (3-11, 0-2) to just 38.7 percent overall and just 18.8 percent (3 of 16) from three-point range.
Senior guard LaQuentin Miles led the Bears with 22 points, hitting 10 of 18 from the field. DeShone McClure, another senior guard, added 19 points, including 3 of 4 from three-point range. Sophomore Tirrell Brown had 13 points and freshman Jalen Jackson added 10.
UCA has an open date Jan. 9 before traveling to Tulsa to take on Oral Roberts on Jan. 11.
Harding downs Northwestern
ALVA, Okla. — Senior Hayden Johnson led Harding in scoring for the fourth consecutive Great American Conference game, the Bisons (5-5, 2-2 GAC) overcame a first half deficit for a 69-63 road victory over Northwestern Oklahoma (4-7, 1-4) on Saturday at Percefull Fieldhouse.
Johnson, who averages 26.0 points in conference games, scored 23 on 7-of-11 shooting. Sophomore Tony Cochran had 13 points and four steals, freshman Will Francis scored all 11 of his points in the second half, and sophomore Andraz Kavas also added 11 points.
Harding will return to the Rhodes Field House on Jan. 9 to take on Henderson State.
Wonder Boys drop decision to Southwestern Oklahoma
WEATHERFORD, Okla. – The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys basketball team (7-5, 2-2 Great American Conference) was held to just 24.5 percent shooting in a 63-38 loss to the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs (6-4, 3-1 GAC) on Saturday at Rankin Williams Fieldhouse.
No Wonder Boys players reached in double figures for Arkansas Tech, who were led by Clarence Willard’s nine points.
The Wonder Boys will return to action on Jan. 9, facing Ouachita Baptist at Tucker Coliseum.