The Privateers (9-10, 6-5) managed to outscore the Bears 47-39 after halftime, mostly by hitting 15 of 18 from the free-throw line. New Orleans had just a 74-72 lead with 4:37 to play, but outscored UCA 14-5 in the final four minutes, going a perfect 10 for 10 from the line. UCA (6-16, 3-8) finished the game shooting just 57.9 percent on free throws (11 of 19).
“We lost a tough one,’ said UCA head coach Clarence Finley. “We didn’t contain the dribbler very well all night long, because they shot 34 free throws to our 19. They made more free throws than we took. They were able to take the ball to the basket and we just didn’t move our feet.’
The Bears trailed by one point, 41-40, at halftime, with senior guard LaQuentin Miles scoring 16 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting. The Privateers already had an advantage in free throws at the break, going 10 of 16 from the line to UCA’s 7 of 10.
“We couldn’t keep them off the glass,’ Finley said. “When you give up 17 offensive rebounds, you aren’t going to win many ballgames. And we gave up 44 rebounds to our 32. We just didn’t keep them off the glass. Those second and third shots just broke our back.’
The Bears led twice early in the second half, after an alley-oop dunk by freshman Phabian Glasco and again after a Glasco layup. The freshman from Tulsa finished with 12 points and five blocked shots, his second game with five blocks in the past two weeks. But UNO’s Christavious Gill broke a 50-50 tie with a layup at the 16:00 mark and the Privateers never trailed again.
“We told them at halftime, if we didn’t block out and keep them off the glass, it was going to be a long night,’ said Finley. “And that was the difference. We always give them four things offensively and four things defensively at halftime that we want to do better. We said we have to contain the dribbler and block out and we just didn’t get those things done.’
Senior forward Cory Dixon topped the Privateers with 20 pionts, while three others scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Kevin Hill had 9 points and 11 rebounds for UNO. UCA, one of the top three-point shooting teams in the Southland Conference, finished 4 of 14 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
Upcoming for the Bears are road games at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday and Houston Baptist on Saturday.
(Courtesy: UCA Sports Information)
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