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UCA runs out of steam in overtime

by Sam Lane | November 27, 2022 at 2:22 a.m.

CONWAY -- The University of Central Arkansas fell 74-66 in overtime to Northwestern (La.) State on Saturday night at the Farris Center.

UCA (3-3) forward Eddy Kayouloud intentionally missed a free throw down 64-61 with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation to give his team one last chance to force overtime. Churchill Bounds tipped the miss out to the perimeter and Masai Olowokere made the three-point shot to make it 64-64 and force the extra period.

With all the momentum on their side, the Bears fell flat in overtime. The Demons (4-2) outscored them in the period 10-2 as the Bears shot 1 for 8.

"We got off to a good start [in overtime]," UCA Coach Anthony Boone said. "Then we missed a couple of shots around the basket that would have given us a lead there. We just couldn't finish, and they could. A couple of possessions down when we were trying to make a comeback, and they got offensive rebounds, that just sealed the game for them."

Olowokere led the Bears with 16 points. Camren Hunter and Bounds each had 12 and Kayouloud added 11.

"Masai was very good for us," Boone said. "He was also very good on the glass. He got a number of tough rebounds, and we needed a lot of that. We needed somebody else to step up and do the same thing."

Olowokere and Jayouloud combined for 23 of UCA's 53 rebounds. Boone said his team lacked a third presence on the glass to keep the Demons from grabbing 18 offensive rebounds.

UCA entered Saturday with the eighth-highest pace of play in the nation, according to KenPom. That can help the Bears dictate the pace at which they want to play, but Saturday it took a struggling offense and sped it up.

The Bears shot 26 of 75 (34.7%) from the field and 6 of 26 (23.1%) from behind the arc. Hunter, UCA's leading scorer per game, was 5 of 23 (21.7%) from the field. Kayouloud and guard Collin Cooper combined for 5-of-25 (20% shooting.

A large part of UCA's problems came at the hands of Northwestern State's guards. Isaac Haney led all scorers with 18 points, Emareyon McDonald had 12 and Demarcus Sharp and Ja'Monta Black each added 10.

The Demons were able to provide an answer to nearly all of UCA's pushes to keep the lead. The Bears trailed for 30:07 of the 40 minutes of regulation and nearly the entirety of overtime.

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