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story.lead_photo.caption In this file photo UALR’s Rayjon Tucker (left) and Coastal Carolina’s Amidou Bamba fight for a loose ball at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. - Photo by Thomas Metthe

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock manufactured a chance.

Improbable because the Trojans' offense was sleepy throughout Thursday's 72-71 loss against Coastal Carolina University at the Jack Stephens Center, UALR dialed up a 12-1 run in the final 4:06 minutes of its first Sun Belt Conference home defeat of the season.

Coastal Carolina's only point was a go-ahead free throw from senior forward Zac Cuthbertson after an iffy foul was called while Cuthbertson launched a out-of-control, wild three-point attempt with 1.8 seconds remaining and the game tied 71-71.

An official reviewed proved Cuthbertson released the ball beyond the three-point line, but the call of a shooting foul was the real question.

"I don't know if he fouled him or not," said UALR Coach Darrell Walker. "I just feel at that time if a guy's leaning, going that way and shooting that shot, you don't blow your whistle. You let the kids decide the game. I don't harp too much with the officials ... But I was a little hot about that one."

"I thought that the play worked fine and I thought it was a foul," said Coastal Carolina Coach Cliff Ellis.

Gallery: UALR vs Coastal Carolina men's Bball

UALR (7-13, 2-5 Sun Belt) redshirt junior guard Rayjon Tucker buried a three-pointer from the left wing with 54 seconds remaining to knot a 71-71 tie.

On the other end, Coastal Carolina's second-to-last offensive possession before the foul ended with an offensive foul that Tucker drew -- one of the Chanticleers' five turnovers during the Trojans' 12-0 run.

With the ball and a chance at a go-ahead bucket, UALR's offense came up short. A missed jumper from redshirt junior Deondre Burns gave Coastal Carolina (9-9, 3-3) a chance to win it with 6.6 seconds to go.

That was enough time for the Chanticleers to inbound the ball, advance it beyond half court and toward the left side of the floor.

Right in front of Coastal Carolina's bench, Cuthbertson's heave was met with a whistle.

And the victory.

"You really never know how it's going to go with calls like that," said Tucker, who finished with 29 points on 6 of 13 shooting and went 14-for-15 from the free-throw line. "It's really in the [referees'] hands. You try not to put it in the [referees'] hands.

The Trojans' run started from a 71-59 deficit with 4:17 remaining, after Chanticleers freshman guard DeVante' Jones made a free throw. Jones' free throw was Coastal Carolina's final point until Cuthbertson's free throw.

Burns, Tucker and freshman point guard Markquis Nowell provided all 12 of UALR's points in the game-tying run.

"Defensively, we self-destructed to be honest with you," Ellis said.

Coastal Carolina's survived a blast by the Trojans, whom likely should not have trailed by double-digits, anyway.

With 6:13 remaining in the second half, the Chanticleers had already scored 37 of their 40 second-half points. They did not connect on another field goal from 6:13 through the remainder of the game.

Coastal Carolina made 7 of its 11 three-pointers in the second half and finished 11 for 27 from beyond the arc.

Eight minutes into the second half, Coastal Carolina went on a 26-11 run and the Trojans -- who shot 5 of 18 from 3 and 25 for 55 from the field -- seemed buried.

UALR, which trailed by as many as 15 points with 10:02 to go in the second half, committed 16 turnovers, which halted its offense.

Although the numbers don't reveal a dreadful offensive night, UALR struggled finding offensive rhythm throughout the loss.

"I don't know," Walker said. "We shot the ball halfway decent ... We just didn't play well."

ARKANSAS STATE 82, APPALACHIAN STATE 81, OT

Ty Cockfield hit a three-pointer and two free throws in overtime Thursday to lead Arkansas State University (9-11, 3-4 Sun Belt) over Appalachian State (5-14, 0-6) at First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.

Tied 70-70 at the end of regulation, Tyrell Johnson hit a jumper 22 seconds into overtime to give the Mountaineers a brief lead. Grantham Gillard then hit a three-pointer from the left side to give the Red Wolves a 73-72 lead with 4:17 left in the extra period.

Appalachian State retook the lead with 1:25 left on two free throws by Isaac Johnson before Cockfield’s two free throws with 41 seconds left gave ASU an 80-79 lead. Tristin Walley hit two free throws to give the Red Wolves an 82-79 lead before Ronshad Shabazz hit two free throws awarded on a technical foul by Canberk Kus to set the final margin.

Cockfield finished with a game-high 32 points for the Red Wolves on 11- of-20 shooting from the floor, while Kus had 13 points and a team-high 9 rebounds. Justin Forrest led the Mountaineers with 24 points, Shabazz poured in 22 and Tyrell Johnson added 13.

SUN BELT WOMEN

UALR 60, COASTAL CAROLINA 47

Kyra Collier scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (10-8, 6-1 Sun Belt Conference) to a victory over Coastal Carolina (8-9, 0-6) at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C.

The Chanticleers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the game's first two minutes, thanks to jumpers by Naheria Hamilton and Aja Blount, but it took roughly a minute and a half for the Trojans to claim the lead for good on baskets from Ronjanae DeGray and Collier, as well as a free throw from Tori Lasker. UALR led 20-13 after the first quarter and 30-22 at halftime before taking its first double-digit lead 50 seconds into the second half on a three-pointer by Lasker for a 33-22 lead. Lasker hit another three-pointer with 1:14 left in the third that gave the Trojans a 52-33 lead and the lead grew to 21 points early in the fourth quarter.

DeGray finished with 16 points and Lasker had 15, including four three-pointers. Hamilton and DJ Williams led the Chanticleers with 12 points each.

APPALACHIAN STATE 75, ARKANSAS STATE 67

Akasha Westbrook had team highs of 20 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough at Arkansas State University fell to Appalachian State on Thursday at the Holmes Center in Boone, N.C.

The game was close for most of the first half, with neither team building more than a six-point lead, and the game was tied 26-26 with 3:37 left in the half. The Mountaineers went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes, using two baskets from Madi Story, a three-pointer by Ashley Polacek and a layup from Lainey Gosnell to take a 35-26 lead with 1:38 remaining. Madison Heckert's basket with 45 seconds left trimmed the deficit to 35-28 at halftime.

Arkansas State cut the lead to 35-32 less than a minute into the third quarter, but a 6-0 Appalachian State run over the next 2:15 gave the Mountaineers a 41-32 lead after two free throws from Polacek. Story hit a three-pointer with 4:46 left in the third quarter to give Appalachian State its first double-digit lead at 48-37, and the lead stayed at more than 10 points until the game's final two minutes.

Jordan Elder had 14 points for the Red Wolves, who shot 37 percent from the floor. Story led the Mountaineers with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor and Gosnell added 12.

Photo by Thomas Metthe
UALR’s Jaizec Lottie (11) fights for a rebound with Coastal Carolina’s Devante Jones during the Trojans’ 72-71 loss to the Chanticleers on Thursday at the Jack Stephens Center. More photos can be found at arkansasonline.com/galleries.

Sports on 01/25/2019

Print Headline: Late run falls short at home for UALR

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