|Updated: 1/25/2012 10:29 pm
||Published: 1/25/2012 10:27 pm
LITTLE ROCK – Senior Britteni Williams recorded her second double-double in three games while sophomore Taylor Ford scored 13 and tied a career high with seven assists, as the UALR Trojans (11-10, 6-2 SBC) topped the visiting South Alabama Jaguars (11-9, 4-4 SBC) Wednesday night at the Jack Stephens Center. The win was the fourth straight for the Trojans and gets them over the .500 mark for the first time since their season-opening win over Tulsa.
The Trojans came out of the gates strong on Wednesday, building a 14-point lead over the first 20 minutes, 29-15, thanks to a stifling defense that held South Alabama to a season-low 15 points in the first half on 5-of-23 shooting (21.7 percent). UALR, meanwhile, put up 29 points on 13-of-29 shooting (44.8 percent) and out-rebounded the Jaguars 21-to-14 in the opening frame, helped in large part by Williams’ eight boards in the first half.
UALR built an early 11-2 lead after starting the game by hitting five of its first seven shots from the field. The lead stretched to 10 on a jumper by freshman Kiera Clark at the 7:21 mark to make it 18-8, and grew as large as 16 when another jumper by Ford put the score at 26-10 with 2:24 left to go in the half. South Alabama answered with five straight points, but a three pointer by junior Janette Merriex with 42.0 seconds left in the half gave the Trojans a 14-point cushion at the intermission.
The Trojans widened their lead to 18 following a 6-0 run midway through the second half. After the Jaguars cut their deficit to 12 on a three pointer by Lauren Walker at the 13:12 mark, UALR answered with six straight points – three each by Williams and freshman Taylor Gault – to give itself a 42-24 lead with 10:00 left in the contest.
Two free throws by Gault and a steal and lay-in by senior Marian Kursh pushed the Trojan advantage to 19 with 6:37 to play. UALR took its biggest lead of the game, 53-32, on two more Gault free throws at the 4:10 mark before South Alabama went on a 5-0 spurt as part of a larger 11-2 run to close the game.
Gault finished the contest with 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Merriex scored six points and grabbed seven boards, while UALR’s starters outscored the USA starters by a count of 51-28.
Williams secured her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Ford poured in 13 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds.
For the game, UALR held the Jaguars to 24.5 percent shooting from field (13-of-53), including 6-of-23 from three-point range (26.1 percent). The Trojans outscored South Alabama 20-12 in the paint, and parlayed USA’s 15 turnovers into 17 points.
UALR returns to action on Saturday when it takes on Denver at the Jack Stephens Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.