CONWAY, AR — Courtney Duever came up with four points, a pair of rebounds and a blocked shot in the final minute as Central Arkansas pulled away from Southeastern Louisiana for an 80-70 win in the Farris Center on Thursday, keeping the Sugar Bears atop the Southland Conference standings.
After the Lady Lions had scored four straight to cut the Sugar Bears lead to four at 74-70 with just under a minute to play, the Sugar Bears closed it out with six points – all at the free throw line – and kept Southeastern off the board to win for the ninth time in 11 games and improve to 9-3 at home.
The Sugar Bears (14-7, 8-2 Southland) led nearly the entire way, with the Lady Lions (6-15, 5-4) briefly taking the lead midway through the second half, but back-to-back 3-pointers from freshman guard Brianna Mullins put the Sugar Bears ahead to stay with just more than nine minutes remaining.
After falling behind by as many as eight with less than two minutes remaining, Southeastern strung together two free throws from Symone Miller and a basket from Erica Hernandez to cut it to four with 57 seconds left, but that would prove to be the end of their scoring as the Sugar Bears got four free throws from Duever and a pair from Terai Sadler to seal the victory.
Duever, who went down briefly with a shoulder injury early in the first half, bounced back to finish with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes for her 10th double-double of the season. Sadler added a season-high 17 points, with Mullins adding 12 and Maggie Proffitt 11. Proffitt hit 3-of-5 from 3-point range as the Sugar Bears were 6 of 13 (46.2 percent) from beyond the arc while Southeastern was just 2 for 8. The Sugar Bears held a 38-30 rebounding advantage, and committed just 11 turnovers while forcing the Lady Lions into 14.
The Lady Lions were led by 18 points from Aja Gibson and 16 points and 13 rebounds by Nanna Pool.
The 80 points was the most scored by the Sugar Bears this conference season, and most since putting up 85 against Philander Smith.
UCA will host New Orleans at 2 p.m. on Saturday in a game broadcast on ESPN3.
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