Today's Paper Search Latest Coronavirus Elections Core values App Listen Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive
ADVERTISEMENT
story.lead_photo.caption UALR forward Alayzha Knapp (25) tries to drive to the basket Saturday around Texas-Arlington defenders Emma Halverson (45) and Marie Benson during the fourth quarter of the Trojans’ 62-46 loss to the Mavericks at the Jack Stephens Center. More photos are available at arkansasonline.com/216basketball/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)

At a time in the season when many of his past teams have come into their own, University of Arkansas at Little Rock women's basketball Coach Joe Foley has watched his Trojans fall apart in mid-February.

UALR's offense remained dormant Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, as the Trojans suffered a 62-46 loss to Texas-Arlington in front of an announced crowd of 925.

UALR (10-14, 8-5 Sun Belt Conference) shot 27% and went 1 of 11 from the three-point line. The Trojans never held the lead and lost their third consecutive game.

"Pretty well the same thing as the other [day] -- just can't throw one in the ocean," Foley said nonchalantly. "I thought we got some good shots in the paint, and we're learning how to get shots, just not making them right now. If those shots are going in, everything works out a little bit different."

Gallery: Little Rock Women's Basketball

[Gallery not loading above? Click here for more photos: arkansasonline.com/216basketball/]

The Trojans fans who showed up hoped the day would end in a milestone for their veteran head coach, as his club is set for a three-game road swing.

Foley notched career win No. 799 on Feb. 6 against Georgia Southern on the road, which had given UALR its fifth victory in a row. The Trojans lost to Georgia State two days later in Atlanta, but with back-to-back home games against Texas State and then Texas-Arlington (15-10, 9-4), No. 800 had a good shot to come in front of a home crowd.

Instead, Foley's date with history remains on pause.

"He tells us not to worry about it and just focus on winning the game, period, not to worry about him," said junior forward Teal Battle, who finished with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. "But of course we want to get that last win for him. It is a tough spot to be in to not be able to get it, but we're working on it."

With five games left, the Trojans sit in fourth place and are three games back of Coastal Carolina (21-3) and Troy (20-4), which are each tied for first at 11-2. UALR visits Troy on Thursday night in Troy, Ala.

More alarming is the Trojans' offense, which has gone ice cold during the skid. UALR is averaging 30.6% shooting and 45.3 points per game during that stretch.

UALR began Saturday 0 of 5 from the floor as Texas-Arlington took a 12-3 lead. The Trojans didn't have a field goal until Battle scored on a layup at the 3:12 mark of the first quarter, cutting it to 12-5. Texas-Arlington led 18-10 in the closing seconds of the period before junior guard Tori Lasker drilled a three just before the horn.

The Trojans pulled within 26-23 when Lasker scored on a layup with 2:20 left before halftime, but Texas-Arlington tallied five unanswered points to go up 31-23 at halftime.

Tempers flared for a moment early in the third quarter.

Senior guard Kyra Collier drove into the lane before she was called for an offensive foul after a Texas-Arlington defender stepped in to take a charge. That led to a small shove and some jawing between Battle and Texas-Arlington guard Katie Ferrell near the baseline before the two were separated. Battle was assessed a technical foul, and Ferrell was given a double technical and ejected from the game.

"It was a few words exchanged. I lost my cool. I shouldn't have," Battle said. "That was bad on my part."

UALR scored five unanswered points from there to cut the deficit to 32-28 with 6:41 left in the quarter, but the Trojans fell flat offensively and saw multiple players limited with foul trouble. The Mavericks closed on a 15-2 run to take a 47-30 lead into the final period, all but assuring UALR's fate.

Seven consecutive UALR points late in the fourth quarter trimmed the deficit to 55-45 with under three minutes to play, but by then it was too late.

"We just got to get it going," Battle said. "We just got to get back in the gym, get back to work and just focus on our mindset of the next game."

Forward Marie Benson posted a game-high 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavericks, who were dominant inside, outrebounding UALR 43-29 and scoring 38 points in the paint.

Collier led UALR with 11 points and 5 assists, and freshman forward Nicole Hemphill added 10 points and 9 rebounds.

TEXAS-ARL M FG FT O-R PF A PTS

M. Benson 38 5-13 7-10 6-14 2 1 17

Ferrell 18 1-1 0-0 0-6 4 1 2

Chastain 31 4-14 1-3 1-5 5 1 9

Milton 34 4-8 2-2 2-4 4 2 11

Evans 30 2-6 0-0 0-1 3 3 5

Dossey 22 3-5 2-4 2-5 2 0 8

B. Benson 18 4-6 1-1 1-2 2 2 10

Mayhue 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Halverson 7 0-0 0-0 3-5 1 0 0

Team 1-1

Totals 200 23-53 13-20 16-43 23 10 62

PCT. -- FG 43.4, FT 65.0. 3-PT. -- 3-9, 33.3 (B. Benson 1-1, Evans 1-2, Milton 1-2, Chastain 0-4). BL -- 1 (M. Benson). TO -- 21 (B. Benson 4, M. Benson 4, Evans 4). ST -- 4 (B. Benson, Dossey, Evans, Milton).

UALR M FG FT O-R PF A PTS

Knapp 24 2-10 2-2 0-2 5 0 6

Battle 33 2-7 3-6 1-8 5 0 7

Lasker 30 3-10 2-4 1-1 1 0 9

Chastain 24 0-2 1-2 0-1 1 0 1

Collier 39 3-10 5-7 1-2 2 5 11

Hemphill 33 3-6 4-4 5-9 5 1 10

Francis 14 0-2 2-2 1-4 4 0 2

Anderson 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Team 2-2

Totals 200 13-48 19-27 11-29 24 6 46

PCT. -- FG 27.1, FT 70.4. 3-PT. -- 1-11, 9.1 (Lasker 1-8, Chastain 0-1, Collier 0-2). BL -- 2 (Battle, Hemphill). TO -- 16 (Collier 4). ST -- 10 (Battle 4).

Texas-Arlington 18 13 16 15 -- 62

UALR 13 10 7 16 -- 46

Technicals -- Texas-Arlington: Ferrell; UALR: Battle

Officials -- Lukanich, Baker, Clayton.

Attendance -- 925.

Sports on 02/16/2020

Print Headline: Baskets elude UALR women

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT