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story.lead_photo.caption UALR’s Ronjanae DeGray (right) puts up a shot over South Alabama’s Christen Carter during the third quarter of the Trojans’ 47-44 victory over the Jaguars on Feb. 9. DeGray, her sister Raeyana, guard Kiara Scott and forward Yanina Inkina will be honored during senior day festivities after today’s home finale against Georgia State. “It hasn’t hit me yet. I’m sure the tears will come,” DeGray said. - Photo by Thomas Metthe

On Thursday, Ronjanae DeGray hadn't cried yet.

But she said she might before this afternoon.

After the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's 80-51 home victory against Georgia Southern on Thursday, DeGray spoke for the first time about today's game -- her final home game at the Jack Stephens Center in a storied four-year career.

She recalled a time before her freshman season four years ago when she thought about today and the emotions she would have.

"It hasn't hit me just yet," she said. "I think the tears will come. I'm excited. I can't believe it's here. Just my freshman summer, I was like, 'Oh my gosh. When this is going to be over, I am dying.' But I've enjoyed my ride here and it's crazy it's almost over."

DeGray, who was chosen by the Sun Belt Conference's 12 coaches in the preseason to be the 2018-19 Player of the Year, leads a class of four outgoing seniors for the Trojans (16-10, 12-3).

UALR will hold senior day festivities after today's 2 p.m. home finale against Georgia State (16-11, 10-6).

Ronjanae DeGray, who is No. 6 in program history with a career field-goal percentage of 50.9 percent, and her sister, Raeyana, are the Trojans' only two seniors who played all four seasons at UALR.

"It's going to be different coming to work without those two," said UALR Coach Joe Foley. "When you've had somebody like that in your program for four years, you kind of get acclimated and it's something you look forward to."

Raeyana has made a career-high 22 starts in UALR's 26 games this season. In four seasons and 94 total games, she is averaging 20.5 minutes per game, 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Ronjanae leads all Trojans with 14.5 points per game and 6.6 rebounds this year. She is averaging 10.4 points for her career, including 13.8 points per game in 2017-18.

UALR has qualified for either the Women's National Invitation Tournament ('15-16, '16-17) or the NCAA Tournament ('17-18) in each of the DeGrays' first three seasons.

"It's been pretty special," Foley said.

Senior guard Kiara Scott, who did not play as a true freshman, and forward Yanina Inkina, who transferred to UALR as a junior after two seasons at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, round out UALR's senior class.

Scott has appeared in 10 games this season (three Sun Belt games) and is averaging 2.3 points and 9.5 minutes per game.

Inkina, a reserve forward, is shooting 47.1 percent (8-17) from 3 and is averaging 3.6 points and 9.9 minutes per game.

ASU, UALR men

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas State University's men's basketball teams each lost Thursday -- and that's OK.

As long as Appalachian State University and Troy University keep losing, Arkansas' two Sun Belt teams are in good shape to qualify for the tournament.

Troy and Appalachian State each lost Thursday and did not alter the bottom of the Sun Belt standings. Troy will host No. 4 Texas-Arlington today. Appalachian State will travel to No. 5 Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday.

Each 4-11, Troy and Appalachian are tied for last place in the Sun Belt.

Arkansas State (12-16, 6-9) and UALR (10-18, 5-10) are currently holding the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds in the Sun Belt, respectively -- the final seeds allowed in the 10-team league tournament.

Georgia State (20-9, 11-5) defeated ASU 76-60 on Thursday and Georgia Southern (19-10, 11-5) delivered UALR an 81-66 loss Thursday at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Ga.

UALR will meet Georgia State at 12 p.m. today. ASU will face Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. in Statesboro.

UCA men

The University of Central Arkansas snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 92-74 victory Wednesday against Stephen F. Austin at the Farris Center in Conway.

With the victory, UCA (11-17, 6-9) moved into a four-way tie with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State and Houston Baptist for seventh place in the Southland Conference, which sends the top eight teams to the conference tournament on March 13-17.

Wednesday's victory was UCA's first since Jan. 23.

UCA will host No. 2 Abilene Christian at 4 p.m. today in Conway. It will finish the season March 6 at No. 1 Sam Houston State and March 9 at Northwestern State.

ASU women

Unless something highly unlikely happens, ASU's women should qualify for the Sun Belt tournament.

The Red Wolves (10-16, 5-10) are currently tied for No. 9 in the Sun Belt with Louisiana-Lafayette (7-19, 5-10).

Mathematically, there's a way the Red Wolves could be bumped out of the tournament for Louisiana-Monroe (8-18, 2-13) and Georgia Southern (7-20, 2-14) if they lose all three remaining games.

ASU would secure its spot in the conference tournament with a victory at 4 p.m. today against last-place Georgia Southern at First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.

Photo by Thomas Metthe
Ronjanae DeGray

Sports on 03/02/2019

Print Headline: DeGray's last home game set for today

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