Arkansas-Little Rock (10-9) at Arkansas State (10-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 8:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (10,475) -- Jonesboro, Arkansas. Television: None. Home Record: UALR 5-2, Arkansas State 5-2. Away Record: UALR 4-6, Arkansas State 5-5. Neutral Record: UALR 1-1, Arkansas State 0-0. Conference Record: UALR 5-2, Arkansas State 3-3. Series Record: Arkansas State leads, 15-8.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas State Red Wolves will look to fix a two-game losing streak as they host the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in Sun Belt Conference action at the Convocation Center.
UALR has won two of its last three games, including a 69-64 victory over Texas State Thursday that bumped the Trojans up to 5-2 in the Sun Belt standings. The Trojans are a game and a half back of Georgia State for the conference lead.
After winning four in a row and five of its last six, Arkansas State has dropped two consecutive contests in Sun Belt action and has fallen to an even 3-3 in the conference standings. The most recent outing for the Red Wolves was a heartbreaker, as they lost 82-77 in double overtime to Western Kentucky.
Arkansas State has a 15-8 lead on the all-time series between the two programs. As the regular season draws to a close, UALR and Arkansas State will meet again in Little Rock on March 1.
UALR was able to fend off Texas State in the team's most recent contest in a game that featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes. A clutch 3-pointer with around five minutes left to play gave UALR a six-point lead, which the Trojans held on to down the stretch. Will Neighbour led the Trojans in the game with 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor, and 9-of-11 from the free-throw line. DeVonte Smith contributed 17 points, while Gus Leeper came off the bench to score 11 before fouling out. The Trojans shot 46.8 percent in the contest.
Neighbour leads the squad this season with an 18 ppg average on 51.5 percent shooting from the floor. His 7.1 rpg is a team high, and 26 steals tops the roster as well. James White is second in scoring this season with 11.4 ppg, while Josh Hagins is third at 11.1 ppg. Hagins and Smith are tied for the team lead with 55 assists each. The Trojans have averaged 71.9 ppg through their 19 contests.
Arkansas State battled the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to double overtime Thursday, but couldn't connect on shooting opportunities in the extra periods, falling 82-77 in the contest. The Red Wolves hit on just 2-of-12 shooting in the overtime sessions, while WKU connected on 6-of-12. Kendrick Washington scored 20 points to lead the Red Wolves, narrowly missing out on a double- double with nine rebounds. Brandon Reed netted 17, Kirk Van Slyke had 14 and Ed Townsel added 10 points in the loss.
Van Slyke paces the team this season in scoring with 17.4 ppg on 57.4 percent shooting from the floor. His 6.5 rpg barely beats out Washington's 6.4 rpg average. Van Slyke tops the team with 24 blocked shots, and is tied for second on the roster with 13 steals. Melvin Johnson III is second in scoring at 13.5 ppg, while Reed is third with 11.2 ppg. The Red Wolves are averaging 77.5 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting this season.
As the Trojans look to make a push toward Georgia State and the top spot in the Sun Belt Conference, they'll need this road win badly to string victories together in the conference. With solid defense like the team played against Texas State, UALR should come away a winner on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas-Little Rock 69, Arkansas State 65
01/25 10:31:03 ET