Tori Lasker woke up at 4 a.m. Friday morning not feeling very well.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, UALR's sophomore point guard was in an urgent care clinic, where she was given fluids and an injection to help cure a stomach virus.
Less than 24 hours later, after regaining enough energy and strength, Lasker scored a career-high 28 points and steered UALR to an 82-50 victory Saturday against Georgia State at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
"I don't know what the doctors gave her," UALR Coach Joe Foley said. "But, whatever it was, we need to give everyone that."
Lasker's 28 points came from mostly behind the three-point line, where she made 8 on 12 attempts against the Panthers. Prior to Saturday, UALR (17-10, 13-3 Sun Belt Conference) had not made more than six three-pointers in any single game this season as a team.
Lasker, woefully ill just a day earlier, bested that mark by herself.
"It was pretty rough," Lasker said. "But, yeah, I feel better today."
"She was just on fire," said UALR senior forward Raeyana DeGray. "There was no stopping her. She just took it. It was amazing."
DeGray, playing in her final home game before UALR completes the regular season with two games in Louisiana, scored 21 points on 9-of-9 shooting and collected 12 rebounds, both career highs.
Led by Lasker, the Trojans connected on 10 of 18 three-pointers in the 32-point blowout. UALR's previous best three-point shooting game this season was a 6-for-17 effort at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 24.
Lasker connected on 5 of 8 three-pointers and scored 19 of her 28 points in the first half. The Trojans made seven three-pointers as a team in leading 42-20 at halftime.
"You hit threes like that, a lot of good things happen," Foley said.
"Sometimes, you live and die by the three. Naturally, we're not one of those teams, but I've always said when we're hitting those shots, my job gets a lot easier. And my job was easy today."
Georgia State (16-12, 10-7) went on 13-6 run in first 4:52 minutes of third quarter. However, UALR had created enough scoreboard breathing room in the first half that they easily withstood the Panthers' second-half run.
Two more three-pointers from Lasker and layups from DeGray, senior forward Ronjanae DeGray and sophomore guard Terrion Moore -- who also had a career-high 10 assists -- inflated UALR's lead from 16 to 25 points in the final 1:48 of the third quarter.
UALR held a 62-37 lead after three quarters and led by as many as 36 points with 2:48 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
It was UALR's second consecutive game with 80 or more points, following Thursday's 80-51 victory against Georgia Southern. The Trojans' 82 points were their most this season.
"We always say, you're either either getting better or you're getting worse," Foley said. "And we don't need to get any worse next week."
The victory secured the Trojans a top three seed in the Sun Belt Tournament. They are currently the No. 2 seed in the conference standings.
If UALR maintains one of the top two spots, it will have a multi-round bye until the semifinal round March 15.
Sports on 03/03/2019
Print Headline: Lasker (28 points) fights off illness to lead UALR