ULM (0-3) at Arkansas-Little Rock (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jack Stephens Center (5,000) -- Little Rock, Arkansas. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 0-1, UALR 4-0. Away Record: ULM 0-2, UALR 0-2. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, UALR 1-1. Conference Record: ULM 0-1, UALR 1-0. Series Record: UALR leads 12-8.
GAMES NOTES: The ULM Warhawks are still in search of their first win of the season as they head to the Jack Stephens Center for a Sun Belt Conference tilt Saturday night against the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.
In three tries, ULM has come up short in its attempt to break into the win column. After two bad road losses to Oklahoma (85-51) and Louisiana Tech (68-52), ULM was at home on Thursday but lost its conference opener to Western Kentucky (65-54).
After South Carolina put an end to a three-game winning streak for UALR in the final game of the Hoops for Hope Classic, the Trojans got right back in the win column with a 58-56 triumph over Troy on Thursday. That win came in the conference opener for the Trojans who are 5-3 overall.
UALR swept the season series last year and has won four straight overall against ULM to earn a 12-8 lead in the all-time series.
ULM hung with Western Kentucky and trailed by just two points (32-30) at the end of the first half. However in the second period the Warhawks hit only 33.3 percent of their field goal attempts including an 0-of-6 effort from beyond the arc en route to the double-digit loss. Amos Olatayo scored 21 points on 8- of-12 shooting but didn't get enough support from the rest of the team.
The Warhawks have not been very competitive during their dismal start and are currently being outscored by an average of 20.4 points per game. ULM is scoring only 52.3 points per game which is the fourth worst mark in the nation while shooting only 38.4 percent from the field. The Warhawks are also suffering from a major disadvantage on the boards (-9.3). Olatayo (16.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) has been the only player on the team to show any type of offensive spark with no one else scoring in double figures on the roster. Jayon James (7.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.7 apg) has taken a lot of shots but needs to be more consistent (33.3 FG percentage) to really turn into a reliable scoring option.
In what was a rather ugly game, UALR bested Troy by making plays down the stretch. UALR trailed 53-50 with just over five minutes left but then went on a 7-0 spurt over the final minutes to secure the win. UALR shot just 38.5 percent in the game which was just a notch better than Troy (38.1 percent). Will Neighbour had a solid game with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
UALR has made a habit of keeping things tight with its opponents. The Trojans are scoring 64.2 points per game while shooting 41.0 percent from the field. Those numbers are almost identical to what the Trojans are giving up on the other end (64.4 ppg, 40.8 FG percentage). The Trojans are also fighting to near even numbers on the boards with a -1.8 rebounding differential. Neighbour (12.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is the go-to player for the Trojans and has really begun to heat up after a slow start with double-figure scoring totals in five straight games. John Gillon (11.4 ppg) and James White (10.1 ppg) are also capable scorers.
Neighbour will undoubtedly be the best player on the floor in this game and should dominate on the interior. Look for UALR to roll and get a new winning streak going.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas-Little Rock 72, ULM 58
12/01 10:38:16 ET