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story.lead_photo.caption UALR guard Kyra Collier handles the basketball Saturday during the Trojans’ 66-46 victory over Georgia State at the Jack Stephens Center. Collier finished with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting. ( Jeff Gammons)

It has been a slow, gradual process, but the University of Arkansas at Little Rock women's basketball team is showing signs of becoming the Sun Belt Conference contender Coach Joe Foley routinely molds.

UALR cruised to its most dominant victory of the season Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center -- a 66-46 victory over Georgia State.

The Trojans (5-10, 3-1 Sun Belt) never trailed after taking an 8-7 lead at the 3:55 mark in the opening quarter. By halftime, the advantage was 16 points thanks to a 50% shooting effort while holding Georgia State to 28%.

"I think that first half showed you what we can do at times," Foley said. "I thought defensive-wise, we were in a great position, and I thought we did a great job. You'll see spurts where I think we look really like an excellent ballclub. But then you'll see spurts where we're pretty immature, and it looks like we need some work."

The Trojans extended their home winning streak in Sun Belt games to 38 in a row, and they've won three of their past four games.

Senior guard Kyra Collier finished with a season-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while also grabbing 9 rebounds and dishing 6 assists. Junior forward Krystan Vornes posted 13 points and nine rebounds.

Freshman forward Alayzha Knapp finished with 13 points, and junior forward Teal Battle tallied 8 points and 6 rebounds.

UALR limited Georgia State to 33% shooting for the game, and 2 0f 10 from three-point range. Tehya Lyons led the Panthers (4-11, 1-3) with 14 points, and Taylor Hosendove finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds. UALR tallied 18 assists and outrebounded Georgia State 38-26.

After taking a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, UALR took control with a big second period thanks to forced turnovers and a dominant fast break.

Senior guard Sydney Chastain sparked a 9-0 with a steal and layup. Collier followed with a three-point play on a layup in transition. Then Chastain came up with another steal, which led to a layup by Battle. That prompted a Georgia State timeout with the Trojans up 26-13 with 4:53 left in the first half.

Knapp capped the 9-0 run with a jumper to extend the lead to 28-13t. Minutes later, a Collier steal turned into another layup. A jumper by Vornes with 1:13 left, which came after another Georgia State turnover, helped the Trojans take a 32-16 lead into the break.

Georgia State had turned it over nine times by halftime, which led to 12 UALR points.

"I thought our kids [in the] first half played about as good as we can play. It was an excellent first half," Foley said. "I was wondering a little bit if we'd come out the second half and play with intensity, or get a little complacent."

Foley's concern proved correct.

UALR got sloppier over the final two quarters, allowing Georgia State to hang around. After four turnovers in the first half, UALR gave it away 12 times in the second, which led to 12 Georgia State points.

The Panthers twice cut UALR's lead to seven in the third quarter. An 11-0 run trimmed UALR's lead to 38-31 before Collier responded with back-to-back jumpers to make it 42-31.

Less than three minutes later, Georgia State had whittled the deficit back to seven with 1:20 left. But then Vornes completed a three-point play, and Knapp hit a short jumper with 15 seconds left to put UALR up 47-35 heading into the final period.

"I believe going into halftime we kind of got a little complacent," Collier said. "Just thinking that [they're] gonna come out and lay down. Just kind of got careless with the basketball, careless on defense."

UALR extended the lead in the final quarter, but an inconsistent second half weighed heavily on Foley after the game.

"It shows how immature, how we need to grow up a little bit more in different areas," Foley said. "We hadn't had that happen before [this season] -- get a good lead. So that's another way of growing up. It's a good experience for us, and we better understand how important it is to stay with great concentration and toughness."

GA. STATE M FG FT O-R pf a Pts

Dziak 14 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0

Hosendove 26 6-11 1-1 2-6 5 1 13

Lewis 15 1-5 0-0 0-0 1 0 3

Miller-McCray 34 0-4 0-0 6-10 3 2 0

Henderson 24 1-8 0-0 0-1 3 0 2

Taylor 9 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 3

Powell 12 2-6 0-0 0-0 2 0 4

Johnson 15 1-4 0-2 1-4 1 0 2

Drash 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Lyons 31 5-12 4-5 0-1 0 2 14

Foster 19 2-3 1-1 0-1 2 0 5

Team 1-3

Totals 200 19-57 6-9 10-26 17 5 46

PCT. -- FG 33.3, FT 66.7. 3-PT. -- 2-10, 20.0 (Taylor 1-1, Lewis 1-2, Hosendove 0-1, Dziak 0-2, Powell 0-2, Lyons 0-2). BL -- 2 (Miller-McCray 2). TO -- 14 (Miller-McCray 4). ST -- 4 (Hosendove, Powell, Johnson, Lyons).

UALR M FG FT O-R pf a Pts

Lasker 33 2-5 0-0 0-5 4 6 5

Chastain 31 1-1 0-0 0-0 5 4 2

Collier 40 10-16 1-3 0-9 3 6 23

Knapp 30 6-11 1-3 1-4 2 0 13

Battle 32 4-9 0-2 3-6 5 2 8

Vornes 27 5-8 3-3 2-9 1 0 13

Francis 6 0-0 2-2 1-2 0 0 2

Team 2-3

Totals 200 28-50 7-13 9-38 20 18 66

PCT. -- FG 56.0, FT 53.8. 3-PT. -- 3-6, 50.0 (Collier 2-2, Lasker 1-3, Battle 0-1). BL -- 1 (Vornes). TO -- 16 (Chastain 3, Collier 3, Knapp 3, Vornes 3). ST -- 5 (Chastain 4).

Georgia State 11 5 19 11 -- 46

UALR 14 18 15 19 -- 66

Officials -- Marsh, Cantrell, Burns

Attendance -- N/A.

Sports on 01/12/2020

Print Headline: First half propels UALR women

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