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story.lead_photo.caption UALR’s Jaizec Lottie (right) and Georgia Southern’s Quan Jackson scramble for a loose ball Thursday at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. The Trojans lost 67-61 and dropped their fifth consecutive game in the Sun Belt Conference. - Photo by Mitchell PE Masilun

Andre Jones paused. Sighed. Groaned.

"Next question," the sophomore guard said. "That is a tough question. I'm not even going to lie."

The question -- "What's missing?" -- plagues the men's basketball team at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, which lost its fifth consecutive Sun Belt Conference game, 67-61 to Georgia Southern on Thursday night at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.

The 72-70 loss to Texas State: Couldn't finish.

The 70-62 loss to Arkansas State University: Couldn't stop the threes.

The 72-67 overtime loss to Appalachian State: Couldn't make the threes.

The 72-62 loss to Coastal Carolina: Couldn't finish.

Thursday night, UALR (5-18, 2-8 Sun Belt) lost a 30-24 halftime lead despite outperforming Georgia Southern (16-7, 7-3) in nearly every team statistical category.

The two the Trojans didn't -- turnovers and free throws -- made the difference.

The Eagles were 23 of 29 (79 percent) from the free-throw line and scored 19 points off 17 UALR turnovers, while the Trojans made 8 of 19 (42 percent) free throws.

Georgia Southern took their first lead, 36-35, on a three-pointer by freshman guard Quan Jackson with 13:09 left in the game, and the Trojans never led again.

It was the third consecutive game that UALR lost after either leading or being tied at halftime.

"Well we got off to another great start," second year UALR Coach Wes Flanigan said. "That's really been our M.O., besides the Lafayette game. We get a lead, then when things don't quite go our way, we get kind of out of rhythm, and we don't finish well. That's been our M.O. all year and we just need to get that fixed."

The Trojans held a 20-8 lead with 6:18 left in the first half after junior guard Camron Reedus' layup finished off a 7-0 run.

Reedus, who finished with 11 points and was 3 of 5 on three-pointers, made a three-pointer to stop Georgia Southern's 6-0 run to give the Trojans a 23-14 lead with 4:27 left in the first half.

After Georgia Southern earned the go-ahead lead on Jackson's second-half three-pointer, the Eagles grew their lead with a slew of free throws, making 18 of 21 attempts during the second half.

Eagles senior guard Mike Hughes, who scored a team-high 14 points, made 9 of 10 free-throw attempts.

UALR's Jones scored 13 of his game-high 18 points during the second half, and his three-pointer with 2:10 left in the game brought the Trojans to within 58-52.

The Trojans made 5 of their last 6 shots, but could not get any closer than 59-54.

The loss ensured that UALR remained in last place in the Sun Belt.

"We can't seem to put teams away," Flanigan said. "We got to figure that out. I don't know what the answer is. We've been talking about it. We've been watching film. We just haven't figured that part of it out. But I think if we can figure that part of it out, we can start winning some of these games."

UALR will next host Georgia State on Saturday at 5 p.m.

GA. SOUTH M FG FT O-R pf a Pts

Glenn 31 4-6 0-2 2-4 3 0 8

Hughes 30 2-8 9-10 1-3 1 1 14

Smith 18 2-8 0-0 0-3 2 1 4

Brown 37 5-9 8-8 0-2 2 2 19

Allsmiller 27 0-4 2-2 0-1 2 1 2

Gladden 4 0-1 0-1 0-1 0 0 0

O'Connell 19 3-5 1-2 1-8 3 0 7

Jackson 19 3-4 2-2 1-2 2 0 10

Simmons 9 1-1 0-0 0-0 3 0 2

Jones Jr. 7 0-0 1-2 0-0 0 0 1

Team 1-3

Totals 200 20-46 23-29 6-27 18 5 67

PCT. -- FG 43.5, FT 79.3. 3-PT. -- 4-19, 21.1 (Jackson 2-3, Brown 1-2, Hughes 1-5, Gladden 0-1, O'Connell 0-1, Allsmiller 0-3, Smith 0-4). BL -- 3 (O'Connell 2). TO -- 9 (Jones Jr.). ST -- 6 (Jones Jr.).

UALR M FG FT O-R PF A PTS

Pippins 27 0-7 1-2 1-6 2 1 1

Jones 31 7-12 3-6 1-4 3 4 18

Black 29 3-5 3-5 2-5 3 2 9

Lottie 27 2-5 0-0 0-1 4 7 4

Bankston 13 2-3 0-2 2-3 2 0 4

Corcoran 9 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Reedus 21 4-7 0-0 0-1 1 0 11

Gilmore 10 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 2

Mompremier 16 1-2 1-2 3-5 1 0 3

Marcus 14 3-3 0-2 2-4 3 0 6

Black 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3

Team 2-3

Totals 200 24-50 8-19 13-34 20 14 61

PCT. -- FG 48.0, FT 42.1. 3-PT. -- 5-14, 35.7 (Reedus 3-5, Black 1-1, Jones 1-3, Gilmore 0-1, Lottie 0-1, Mompremier 0-1, Pippins 0-2). BL -- 3 (Bankston, Jones, Mompremier). TO -- 17 (Jones 5, Lottie 5). ST -- 2 (Jones, Reedus).

Halftime -- UALR 30, Georgia Southern 24

Officials -- June, Sitton, Dugas

Technicals -- UALR coach

Attendance -- 2,084

GEORGIA STATE 77, ARKANSAS STATE 66

Deven Simms scored a game-high 28 points, but Arkansas State University (8-15, 3-7) lost to Georgia State (17-6, 8-2) on Thursday in Jonesboro.

Simms shot 9 of 17 from the floor and also had 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

Marquis Eaton added 14 points for the Red Wolves, who shot 36.1 percent (22 of 61).

D'Marcus Simonds led the Panthers with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Malik Benlevi and Jeff Thomas each scored 13 points. Benlevi had a team-high 10 rebounds. Jordan Session and Isaiah Williams both had 10 points.

ASU trailed 32-29 at halftime, but took a 50-48 lead with 10:49 remaining on Eaton's layup. The lead lasted 29 seconds as Simonds' layup tied the game at 50-50 and Benlevi's three-pointer gave the Panthers a 53-50 lead with 9:41 left.

Sports on 02/02/2018

Print Headline: Second half unkind to UALR

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