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Comeback Falls Short for UALR Women's Hoops in Sun Belt Opener

Another poor first half on the road for the UALR women’s basketball team marred its conference opener on Thursday evening as the Trojans fell 42-35 to league newcomer Texas State.
SAN MARCOS, TX - Another poor first half on the road for the UALR women’s basketball team marred its conference opener on Thursday evening as the Trojans fell 42-35 to league newcomer Texas State.

UALR (5-6, 0-1 Sun Belt Conference) scored just 12 points in the first half. Though the team nearly doubled that total in the second half, it was not enough to surpass the Bobcats (4-8, 1-0) as they got the victory in their first ever Sun Belt contest.

The Trojans were led by Di'Mond Jackson’s 11 points, but the freshman fouled out just six minutes into the second half. After Jackson, classmate Sharde' Collins had the next-highest total with eight points. Senior Taylor Ford and junior Kiera Clark tied for a team high with eight rebounds, and Clark added six points.

UALR began the second half down by 12 points but slowly cut that deficit over the final 20 minutes. Jackson had four points quickly out of the gate – setting a new career high in the process – but she fouled out shortly after her final points with more than 14 minutes still left in the game.

From there, UALR got scoring from multiple players including a 3-pointer by Collins and jumpers from Ford and Clark. The Trojans brought the Bobcats’ advantage down to just seven points midway through the half, and another Clark jumper with 6:04 remaining made it a 34-30 game. Clark scored her 500th career point early in the first half.

The Trojans managed just five points in the final six minutes, though, and the Bobcats pulled away for the seven-point victory. Ashley Ezeh was the team’s leader with nine points.

At game’s end, UALR had committed 21 turnovers and shot just 28.6 percent from the field. The Trojans also made only six of their 14 free throw attempts.

Texas State, playing in the Sun Belt Conference for the first time this season, now narrowly leads the all-time series with the Trojans at 3-2.

The first-half road woes continued for the Trojans as the team made just two field goals in the first 15 minutes of the period. Combined with one free throw, UALR had five total points with two minutes to go in the half and were down as much as 21-5. The Trojans went nearly 11 full minutes without scoring, from the 12:21 mark until 1:26 was left on the first-half clock.

Jackson managed two layups and Hannah Fohne hit a baseline jumper in the final 90 seconds of the half, more than doubling the Trojans’ score to that point. Even with that late offensive flurry, the team has now scored 12 points or fewer in four consecutive road games.

At the break, the Trojans had committed 15 turnovers and shot just 25 percent from the field. Still, UALR was not out of the game because of Texas State’s poor offensive half. The Bobcats were barely better at 28.6 percent from the field, and they finished the opening period with 24 points.

The Trojans look for their first Sun Belt victory on Saturday when they will face another Sun Belt newcomer in UT Arlington. The Trojans and Mavericks are set to meet for the first time as conference foes at 7:30 p.m.
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