UALR doomed by poor shooting

Published 17 November 2017

After making a late first-half surge Wednesday afternoon, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock women fell flat in the second half.

Behind a 17-point, 13-rebound effort from sophomore Kendrian Elliott, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane bounced the Trojans 74-61 in front of a matinee crowd of 2,138 littered mostly with pom-pom waving elementary students at the Jack Stephens Center.

UALR (1-1) led 34-32 at the half, but the Trojans connected on only 7 of 26 field-goal attempts in the final 20 minutes. The loss came just three days after the Trojans were good on 55.7 percent of the their field-goal attempts in an 86-57 victory over Memphis.

"When the ball goes in the hole, everything looks good," said UALR Coach Joe Foley, whose team finished 21 of 61 shooting vs. Tulsa. "The ball didn't go in the hole today. ... That's the way this team is going to be. There will be ups and downs."

Sophomore Kyra Collier led the Trojans with 14 points, but the 5-9 guard was only 4 of 13 from the floor. Forward Keanna Keys added 11 points and 13 rebounds, but she was held scoreless on only one field goal attempt in the second half.

"I backed off and didn't take the initiative to go get rebounds or box out," Keys said. "[Tulsa] didn't do anything differently on me at all."

Tulsa outscored UALR 16-8 inside the lane in the final two quarters.

"We were rushing things once we got down," Collier said. "We started to freak out and take bad shots."

Tulsa led 24-20 with 7:17 left in the first half, but Keys took back-to-back charging calls that sparked the Trojans to outscore the Hurricane 14-4 during the next six minutes.

Tulsa, however, ended the first half on a high note when reserve guard Ebony Parker completed a four-point play.

"They took the momentum, so it was big," said Collier of Parker's four-point play. "Coach Foley told us at the half that if we didn't come out and punch them in the mouth the game would be over."

Instead, it was the Hurricane that delivered a stinging haymaker.

After Collier hit two free throws at the 9:30 mark of the third quarter, Tulsa scored the next 11 points and never trailed again. Elliott, who scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the second half, scored five points and had three rebounds during that four-minute run that saw Tulsa grab a 43-34 advantage.

UALR did managed to get back to within 49-47 with 2:09 showing in the third quarter after a layup by junior Ronjanae DeGray, but Tulsa scored 12 consecutive points in a four-minute span in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

"We never did get into the flow of the game," said Foley, whose team was 1 of 11 in three-point attempts. "We took bad shots and too many quick shots. I don't think we understood the importance of what we were trying to do."

Junior guard Tatyana Perez scored a game-high 18 points for Tulsa, including seven in the game's final 6:19. Junior Crystal Polk came off the bench to hit 6 of 7 field-goal attempts for 14 points.

DeGray finished with 10 points, eight of which were scored in the first half. Lasker, who had 21 points in the victory over Memphis, was limited to seven points.

Sports on 11/16/2017