UCA’s men stumble from start during loss

UCA’s Carl Daughtery drives past the Florida Gulf Coast defense during the Bears’ loss Thursday night at the Farris Center in Conway.
(UCA Athletics photo)
UCA’s Carl Daughtery drives past the Florida Gulf Coast defense during the Bears’ loss Thursday night at the Farris Center in Conway. (UCA Athletics photo)

CONWAY -- Before the University of Central Arkansas men's basketball team put a point on the board, Coach Anthony Boone wanted to talk.

Less than two minutes into its game with Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday night, UCA trailed 8-0, prompting Boone to call his first timeout.

Four minutes later, Florida Gulf Coast's lead grew to 16 points and Boone had seen enough to call another.

UCA never recovered from its poor start and fell 82-59 at the Farris Center.

Florida Gulf Coast (10-13, 4-4 ASUN) came out firing on all cylinders on both ends of the floor. The Eagles hit seven of their first 11 shots, including four three-pointers. They also held the Bears (8-16, 4-4) to 1-for-9 shooting during the same span.

The Eagles extended their lead to 49-25 at halftime behind 14 points from Zach Anderson, nine points from Isaiah Thompson and five points each from four other players.

The second half showed an improved effort from UCA, outscoring Florida Gulf Coast 34-33, but it not enough to make it a game.

Anderson (16), Dallion Johnson (15), Thompson (12) and Franco Miller Jr. (10) all reached double figures scoring for Florida Gulf Coast, while the team shot 53.3% from the field and 41.2% on three-pointers.

Freshman Tucker Anderson, UCA's leading scorer entering the game, shot 3 of 11 from the field and was 1 of 7 on three=pointers to finish with seven points. Carl Daughtery Jr. led the Bears with 14 points, while Javion Guy-King scored 11 and Elias Cato had 10.

After Florida Gulf Coast's Anderson hit a jumper 16 seconds into the game, the Eagles led for the remaining 39:44. UCA did not lead at any point.

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