The Arkansas-Little Rock women's basketball team dropped its fourth consecutive game Sunday afternoon in a sloppy 63-39 loss to Alabama at the Jack Stephens Center. The loss drops the Trojans' record to 0-4, while Crimson Tide improves to 5-0 on the year with the win.
Sarah Ashlee Barker led the Crimson Tide with 15 points and seven rebounds. Jessica Timmons found her rhythm in the second half, scoring all 14 of her points in the game after the halftime break.
Jayla Brooks was the high scorer for UALR with 9 points on three made three-point field goals for a team that has struggled immensely with outside shooting. Her stifling defensive effort also helped to keep the Trojans competitive through the first 20 minutes.
UALR went into halftime trailing just 29-20 as Jaiyah Harris-Smith made a three-pointer just before the first half buzzer. Outside of three makes from Brooks, that was the only other three-point shot made in the game for UALR.
While the Trojans were active defensively, the size and length of the Crimson Tide proved to be too much for the home team to compete. Alabama started to create significant separation in the third quarter.
UALR was outrebounded 39-22.
"I thought it was ugly early," Alabama Coach Kristy Curry said in a radio interview after the game. "Going into the half with a little bit of a lead, but I thought we came out in the third and adjusted somewhat and were able to get to the free throw line and make some plays. Plus-17 on the boards."
The second-half offensive outburst from Timmons contributed to the visitors building up the comfortable lead. After three quarters, the Crimson Tide led 44-26 as the Trojans were only able to muster six total points in the third. Timmons made five field goals in the second half, including three from three-point range.
"I thought she made better decisions with the ball in her hands and was taking good shots," Curry said. "But I thought Jess was real steady for us to start the third."
Outside of the long-range shooting from Brooks, the rest of the UALR team was quiet offensively. Faith Lee scored eight points and Leilani Wimbish-Gay finished with seven. The Trojans shot just 14 of 45 (31.1%) on field goals.
Alabama shot 23 of 47 (48.9%) from the field and scored 34 points in the paint. The visitors also scored 14 second-chance points in the winning effort. Timmons pulled in a game-high nine rebounds.
UALR produced a solid defensive effort for how much of size mismatch it was facing, but for the third straight game the team has not reached the 40-point mark offensively.
"Not the prettiest game," Curry said. "That's how they make you play here. They really want to keep it in the 50s. I knew if we could get to 60 we would win. That's traditionally who they are here. Any road win is a really good win and they'll do really well in their league."
While there may be optimism for the Trojans once they reach Ohio Valley Conference play, that is still a long way off as two of their next three games will be against opponents from the SEC Conference.
UALR will head to Oxford, Miss., next Saturday to take on Ole Miss and then will have a home date on Dec. 10 against Auburn. The next home game for the Trojans will be Dec. 2 when they welcome the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears to the Jack Stephens Center.
GEORGIA STATE 88, UALR 77
The Arkansas Little-Rock men's basketball team dropped its second game in as many days Saturday afternoon as it fell to Georgia State in the final game of the Capital Challenge at the GSU Convocation Center in downtown Atlanta.
Toneari Lane led all scorers with 23 points for GSU (2-2) with 18 of those points coming off six made three-pointers. The Panthers got a solid boost from their bench as both Dwon Odom and Jamaine Mann scored 15 points in their reserve roles.
Jamir Chaplin paced UALR (1-3), scoring a career-high 22 points and securing seven rebounds in the loss. Khalen Robinson recorded a double-double in the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Trojans reserves also played a key role as the bench accounted for 27 points, including 17 from Cougar Downing who connected on 5 of his 10 attempts from three-point range.
UALR overcame a 12-point first-half deficit to tie the game at 40 going into halftime. But the Trojans ran out of gas in the second half as the Panthers were able to pull away late and take the win.
Following three consecutive games on the road, UALR will be back at home in Little Rock on Wednesday looking to end its three-game losing streak in a rematch with Georgia State at the Jack Stephens Center.