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UALR pulls away from Louisiana-Lafayette, returns to Sun Belt final

by Troy Schulte | March 11, 2016 at 4:20 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS — The UALR women’s basketball team found some offense in the second half, and now the Trojans are headed back to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament final.

Shanity James had 18 points and Kaitlyn Pratt had 13 to lead the second-seeded Trojans to a 63-52 victory over third-seeded Louisiana-Lafyaette in a semifinal game at Lakefront Arena.

The victory puts UALR (20-11) into a 7 p.m. Sun Belt final tomorrow against Troy, which upset No. 1 seed Arkansas State earlier Friday. The Trojans are in the final for the seventh time in the last eight seasons and will try Saturday to win their fourth tournament in the last six years.

"We shot the ball extremely well, took great shots, made some good shots," UALR Coach Joe Foley said. "And then our defense really rose to the occasion and shut them down."

Alexius Dawn added 11 points for UALR, including a jumper in the fourth quarter while James was on the bench with four fouls to put UALR up 50-43.

UALR trailed 33-31 midway through the third quarter quarter before an 11-2 run gave it the lead back. The Trojans led 42-37 heading into the fourth quarter and built their lead to 54-44 on a James basket off a Dawn pass with 4:10 left.

The Trojans, offensively challenged for much of the season, shot 53.7 percent from the floor for the game, including 59.1 percent in the second half.

Louisiana-Lafayette (21-10) shot 43.1 percent for the game, but was held to 37.0 percent shooting in the second half. Keke Veal lead the Ragin' Cajuns with 17 points before fouling out with 2:02 left in the game.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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