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Trojans finally put away Golden Lions

by Mitchell Gladstone | November 17, 2021 at 2:53 a.m.
FILE — UALR head coach Joe Foley calls a play during the third quarter of the Trojans' 68-55 win at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock in this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE)

The Arkansas-Little Rock women's bench spent all night waiting so it could erupt in celebration knowing the Trojans had put away their opposition for good.

It never came Tuesday. But the Trojans were somehow there to clean up all their misses.

UALR turned 19 offensive rebounds in 20 second-chance points, just enough to overcome a sloppy offensive performance as it held off Arkansas-Pine Bluff for a 73-63 at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.

UALR sophomore Sali Kourouma scored all of her game-high 24 points in the first half and junior Angelique Francis set a career-best with 14 rebounds, five of them coming on the offensive glass.

"We've got to slow down and be a little more patient," Trojans Coach Joe Foley said. "We were going 90 miles an hour and not taking what they were giving to us. I thought our defense did a good enough job to get us a W, but offensively, we've got to get a little bit better."

UALR (2-1) got an early offensive jolt from Kourouma, who was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week after scoring 30 points Friday night at Vanderbilt. The Trojans went on an extended 20-8 run after giving up the night's first five points, with Kourouma scoring 12 in the opening quarter.

She added 12 more in the second, but made sure to stay aggressive even when she wasn't scoring. All six of Kourouma's rebounds came on the offensive end.

"If I'm playing, I'm hungry," Kourouma said. "I want us to win, so I'm going to do everything to get the ball and do what I have to do to keep my team winning and keep scoring."

Although UALR led by 13 at the break, UAPB (0-3) scored the first seven points of the third quarter, pulling within 41-35. The Trojans managed to stretch the lead back out to 13, yet the Golden Lions scored five in a matter of seconds to close the quarter, trailing by just eight as the teams headed to the fourth.

UAPB was never able to make it a one-score game, however, as UALR's steady effort on the boards gave the hosts what they needed to get their first home win of the season.

"Crashing the boards ... that's what makes them who they are," said Golden Lions Coach Dawn Thornton, who also called Francis a "Dennis Rodman" for the Trojans. "You've got a team that shoots 43 percent from the field shooting mid-range shots, that's great. ... Like I said, 19 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points, that speaks for itself."

Khadijah Brown led UAPB with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Zaay Green and Tyesha Juhan each had 12, while Sade Hudson added 10.

Dariel Johnson finished with 7 points and 10 boards for UALR, while Mayra Caicedo had eight assists.

"We're kind of learning on the fly," Foley said. "Every game is different. This is a totally different game than the one we played at Vanderbilt. ... We're learning a lot, we've got a great schedule and we're going to learn a lot of real good things this semester."

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PCT — FG 37.3, FT 76.5. 3-PT — 6-16. 37.5 (Green 2-3, Brown 1-1, Hudson 1-2, Juhan 1-4, Kennerson 1-5, Walker 0-1). BL — 1 (Brown). TO — 14 (Green, Kennerson, Hudson 3). ST — 2 (Green, Hudson).












PCT — FG 43.3, FT 66.7. 3-PT — 5-17. 29.4 (Kourouma 2-6, Harvey 1-2, Caicedo 1-3, Potter 1-3, Conn 0-3). BL — 3 (Kourouma, Vornes, Johnson). TO — 16 (Potter 4). ST — 7 (Kourouma 4).

UAPB……………………………. 13 15 18 17 — 63

UALR……………………………. 20 21 13 19 — 73

Officials — Baker, Ramsey, Francis

Attendance — 747



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