The University of Arkansas at Little Rock women's basketball team simply couldn't buy a bucket.
In four consecutive non-conference meetings, Texas A&M has steamrolled the Trojans. The trend did not stop Tuesday when No. 20 Texas A&M defeated the Trojans 61-40 at the Jack Stephens Center as the Trojans suffered their worst offensive outing of the season.
"When you play Little Rock, you know what you're going to get," said Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair, a long-time friend of UALR Coach Joe Foley and a former University of Arkansas head women's coach from 1993-2003. "They're going to be a well-coached, hard-nosed team that plays awfully hard."
Despite a hot start, UALR's offense was quickly hushed. The Trojans (2-2) made just 14 of 51 baskets and trailed for 32:59 minutes of Tuesday's game. UALR's 27.5 shooting percentage was its lowest in four games.
"We were cold as ice," Foley said. "We couldn't get any shots to fall. They gave us every opportunity to stay in the game, we just couldn't make shots."
UALR stormed out to a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter and spurned Texas A&M's 6-4 sophomore center Ciera Johnson from easy buckets.
"They hit us first," said Texas A&M redshirt sophomore guard Aaliyah Wilson, who posted a game-high 20 points and scored 16 in the first half.
The Trojans held Aggies sophomore guard Chennedy Carter, who ranked second in the SEC in scoring (20.7 points per game) entering Tuesday, to 10 points in 28 minutes. Johnson finished with 10.
"Carter's a good player," Foley said. "She's one of the best in the country. Overall, I thought we did a pretty dang good job on her. She was 5-for-16 and had 6 assists and 3 turnovers, that's not doing bad. But the big kid killed us inside. She just wore us down."
The end to the Trojans' first half was crushing. UALR's offense did not score a basket in 10 minutes, a drought spanning from 3:38 remaining in the first quarter until 3:49 was left in the second.
UALR scored eight points in the final three minutes before halftime. It sliced a 13-point lead from Texas A&M to 27-20 while the Aggies did not score in the final 3:09 minutes of the opening half.
UALR missed 21 of 29 shots and committed 12 turnovers in the opening half. Against an Aggies team blessed with plenty of speed and size, the poor offensive half left UALR in a hole too deep.
"They had some great shots in the first half, they just flat missed them," Blair said.
The Aggies outscored UALR 18-8 in the third, closed the quarter on an 8-0 run and lead 45-28 after three.
Two Trojans, reserve sophomore forward Teal Battle and senior forward Ronjanae DeGray, finished in double-figure scoring with 10 points apiece.
UALR's loss began its toughest two-week nonconference stretch. The Trojans will travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU on Sunday. They will host No. 6 Mississippi State, Western Kentucky and Kansas State at the Jack Stephens Center all before Dec. 8.
"There isn't a mid-major in the country that plays a better schedule than [UALR]," Blair said.
LOUISIANA TECH 80, ARKANSAS STATE 70
Guard Nikki McDonald scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor Tuesday to lead four Louisiana Tech players with 10 or more points in a victory over Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week Peyton Martin scored to give ASU a 2-0 lead with 9:09 left in the first quarter, but Louisiana Tech tied the game on a Grayson Bright jumper 24 seconds later and was never challenged. The Lady Techsters held a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, and a layup by McDonald gave Louisiana Tech its first lead of 10 or more points, 27-16, with 6:11 left in the first half. The lead grew to 17 at one point in the second quarter and stood at 42-27 at halftime.
The Red Wolves cut the lead to nine points twice late in the third quarter but didn't get any closer.
Taylor Stahly scored 16 points -- including four three-pointers -- for Louisiana Tech, while Raizel Gunto had 15 and Kierra Anthony added 10.
Trinitee Jackson led Arkansas State with 12 points, and Jordan Elder and Jireh Washington chipped in 10 each. Martin was held to 9 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor before fouling out.
NO. 23 MINNESOTA 84,
MINNEAPOLIS — Kenisha Bell scored 24 points, Taiye Bello grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds and No. 23 Minnesota beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Minnesota was ahead 47-22 at halftime after scoring its most points in a half this season. It was also the Gophers’ largest halftime lead of the year. Bello tied her career high of 18 rebounds in the third quarter, and Minnesota led 68-30 entering the fourth.
Mercedes Staples added 13 points, Jasmine Brunson had 12 and Destiny Pitts 11 for Minnesota (4-0), which out-rebounded UAPB 50-19. The Gophers have started a season with four victories in a row for the fourth consecutive season.
Sha’Kendra Tilley led UAPB (0-3) with 10 points. Atitiana Vincent had 9 points on 4-of-14 shooting. The Golden Lady Lions were 16 of 55 from the field (29 percent), including 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
STATE COMPOSITE SCHEDULE
TODAY’S GAMES All times Central
Central Baptist at Wayland Baptist, 3
Midwestern State at Ark.-Fort Smith,
Lyon College at St. Thomas-Houston, 6
Montana State at Arkansas, 7 p.m.
Henderson State at Rogers State, 2 p.m.
Sports on 11/21/2018
Print Headline: Trojans go cold in loss to Aggies