Texas State (5-13) at Arkansas-Little Rock (9-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday January 23, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jack Stephens Center (5,600) -- Little Rock, Arkansas.
Television: None. Home Record: TSU 2-6, UALR 4-2. Away Record: TSU 1-6, UALR
4-6. Neutral Record: TSU 2-1, UALR 1-1. Conference Record: TSU 1-4, UALR 4-2.
Series Record: Arkansas-Little Rock leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The Texas State Bobcats will try to avoid their third loss in a
row as they tangle with the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans at the Jack Stephens
Center in a Sun Belt Conference tilt.
Texas State is coming off a 56-48 home loss to the Texas-Arlington Mavericks.
The Bobcats, who average a Sun Belt Conference-low 62.5 ppg, were limited to
32.1 percent shooting from the field including a 5-of-20 clip by the
Mavericks. Texas State held a narrow lead in the early stages of the second
period before a 16-8 UTA run put the game out of reach for good. The setback
dropped the Bobcats to a 5-13 overall record including a 1-4 mark in league
play. TSU has gone just 1-6 in true road tests during the 2013-14 campaign.
The Trojans will be seeking their fifth win in seven SBC games on Thursday.
Last week, UALR outlasted Western Kentucky for an 87-83 overtime victory
before it was handed a 99-73 loss at Georgia State. The loss lowered the
Trojans to a 9-9 overall record. They are second in the SBC standings with a
4-2 conference record, trailing only the 5-0 GSU Panthers. UALR is posting
72.1 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor and also pulls down 1.6 more
boards per outing than its opposition.
This will be the second meeting this season between these SBC rivals. UALR
topped TSU, 63-59, on Jan. 2 in San Marcos to improve to 4-1 all-time versus
the Bobcats. Will Neighbour led the Trojans to the win with 20 points.
TSU had a very poor showing after the intermission versus UTA. The Bobcats
were held to 32.4 percent shooting from the floor while they allowed the
Mavericks to sink 47.4 percent of their field goal attempts. Defensively, TSU
forced 19 turnovers, but it was not enough to overcome UTA's 22-11 advantage
in free- throw attempts.
The Bobcats are led by senior forward Joel Wright, who is posting team-highs
of 14.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg. Wright had scored in double-figures in five
consecutive outings before being held to just seven by UTA. With Wright having
an off night, Gordan Ball paced the Bobcats with 10 points and seven boards.
Emani Grant is near a double-digit scoring average (9.9 ppg) and also grabs an
average of 5.3 rpg. Wesley Davis is a key player for the Bobcats with 8.7 ppg
to go along with his team-highs of 2.1 apg and 1.4 spg.
Neighbour is having another solid campaign as he ranks sixth in the conference
in scoring at 17.4 ppg and also seventh on the rebounding leaderboard with 7.2
rpg. UALR could not overcome its 20 turnovers versus GSU in its last outing
despite hitting on 53.6 percent of its attempts from the floor in the second
stanza. James White led the way in the loss with 23 points, followed by
Neighbour with 18.
TSU simply doesn't have enough firepower to compete with the Trojans. UALR
would have to have a very poor offensive performance to fall to the Bobcats,
who had no answer for Neighbour when these teams squared off earlier this
month. The homecourt advantage could help UALR pull away for an easy victory,
which it will need to keep pace with GSU in the league standings.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas-Little Rock 68, Texas State 60
01/23 10:18:25 ET
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