Arkansas-Little Rock (5-7) at Texas State (4-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Oscar Strahan Coliseum (7,200) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 3-1, Texas State 2-3. Away Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 1-5, Texas State 0-5. Neutral Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 1-1, Texas State 2-1. Conference Record: Arkansas-Little Rock 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Series Record: Arkansas-Little Rock leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: The Texas State Bobcats looks to get back on track after a loss and to make up some ground the rest of the way, starting with the Arkansas- Little Rock Trojans Thursday at Oscar Strahan Coliseum in a Sun Belt Conference affair.
UALR has won two of its last three games, one in the British Virgin Islands in the BVI Tropical Shootout and looks to keep up the winning trend. The Trojans defeated Grambling, 88-68, on Monday, Dec. 30.
Texas State has lost three of its last four outings, and is trying to rebound from an 0-5 start to the season. The Bobcats lost 73-64 to LIU-Brooklyn on Monday to close out the non-conference slate.
Arkansas-Little Rock leads the all-time series with Texas State, 3-1. It's the first meeting between these two programs since November of 2006, an 83-77 UALR victory.
The Trojans recorded a season-best 23 assists in Monday's victory over Grambling at home. James White led the way for UALR, pouring in 16 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting performance. White is now 15-of-18 shooting in his last two outings. Senior Will Neighbour scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds, just missing out on his third double-double of the season. Neighbour added five assists and four steals in the Trojan victory. Sophomore Ben Dillard made his first start of the season and scored 13 points as the Trojans outscored Grambling in the paint, 50-16.
Neighbour leads UALR in scoring with a 16.6 ppg average, while Josh Hagins (11.4 ppg) and White (10 ppg) round out the three Trojan players averaging in double figures this season. Hagins leads the team with 38 assists and shoots 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. Neighbour (7.3 rpg) and White (6.6 rpg) lead the team in rebounding, and both players are shooting at least 52 percent from the floor this season.
Texas State held a second-half lead against LIU-Brooklyn in the team's last matchup, but couldn't hang on for the win. The Bobcats fell in their final non-conference game of the season. Joel Wright paced the Texas State team with 18 points and eight rebounds, but turned the ball over four times in the loss. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury added 12 points and five rebounds, and Emani Gant scored 11 and grabbed eight rebounds. As a team, the Bobcats shot 38.1 percent from the floor against LIU-Brooklyn, including 28.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Wright and Gant lead the team in scoring, averaging 15.1 ppg and 10.5 ppg respectively. Wright averages 6.5 rpg, but has turned the ball over 47 times this season, which is 26 more than anyone else on the roster. Gant brings down an average of 5.8 rpg and leads the team in blocks this season with eight. Despite the high number of turnovers, Wright makes up for it with his 3-point average, shooting 52.4 percent from long range this season.
Texas State averages 63.8 ppg as a team and will need to improve that total as the team enters conference play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas-Little Rock 71, Texas State 64
01/02 10:37:49 ET