UCA’s Sugar Bears Advance to WBI Semifinals

UCA Sugar Bears beat Weber State_1521576086497.JPG.jpg

CONWAY, Ark. (News release) – A 25-4 first-half run was all Central Arkansas needed to put Weber State away on Monday night as the Sugar Bears cruised to an 82-67 win over the Wildcats in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational in the Farris Center.

After going back and forth the first few minutes of the game, the Sugar Bears (24-9) took the lead for good with 6:36 left in the first quarter and followed by holding the Wildcats (21-11) scoreless for more than seven minutes as they built a lead as large as 25 before the break, and would never allow the Wildcats to get closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Five Sugar Bears scored in double figures in the victory, led by Kamry Orr’s 25 on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-10 at the free throw line. Kierra Jordan added 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Taylor Baudoin had 14 points and Antonija Bozic 11. Taylor Sells came close to a triple double, scoring 10 points with career highs of 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

It is the third straight game in double figures for Sells, who has averaged 13 points over that stretch after averaging just 2.9 per game in Southland Conference play.

After doing it with defense in last Thursday’s opening-round win over SIUE in which the Sugar Bears held the Cougars to 39 points, it was the offense that carried the Sugar Bears on Monday as the 82 points was their highest of the season against a Division I opponent and second highest overall behind a 106-point effort against Crowley’s Ridge College on Nov. 28.

The win pits the Sugar Bears against Nevada in the WBI semifinals on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Farris Center, extending their Postseason Run presented by First Security Bank and giving them a chance at the WBI championship game next week and their third straight season with at least 25 wins. With the victory the Sugar Bears improve to 40-5 (.889) at home over the last three seasons, and move to 7-3 in postseason games during that same span.

Head Coach Sandra Rushing – Click here to watch interview.
“I’m happy with this win. I thought our offense in the first half was really, really good. We got stagnant in the second half, but I liked our effort. We’re missing some assignments but we’re playing hard and a couple people are playing banged up. I think maybe we got tired a little in the second half, but we beat a very good basketball team tonight.”

“This is the points I want to put up. I’ve said all along this year this team is capable of scoring these points. There are still some things we’ve got to fix before Saturday, but I’m so excited that we’re playing here again on Saturday.”

“[Taylor Sells] is so quick and plays so hard. And I thought Kamry Orr came off the bench and really sparked us. KJ hit some good shots. And I go back, Maddie Goodner is not scoring a lot for us, but she’s doing what she needs to do defensively for us. Antonija hit some big shots and gave us some momentum. I’m just really proud for this team and happy for the seniors. Hey, we’re going to a Final Four!”

“To hear the fans cheering, yelling ‘U-C-A’ at the end, means a lot to me and the players. It was an exciting atmosphere and I just want to thank everybody who was here and has supported us.”

Sophomore guard Taylor Sells – Click here to watch interview.
“It feels great just to get a win, and to have a chance to put a stamp on the postseason. Not everybody gets a chance to play in the postseason, so it feels good. I’m honored to go to postseason, we’ve just got to keep winning. There are only three teams who win a championship (NCAA, WNIT, WBI) and we’re definitely going to be one of them.”

“My teammates said they need me to attack, attack, attack and that nobody can guard me. So as long as my teammates and coaches have faith in me, I should have faith in myself.”

“Our seniors have done so much throughout their years here, and I just want to send them out on top.”

Senior forward Taylor Baudoin – Click here to watch interview.
“It’s fun, really fun. I’m enjoying myself every game and coming out here it’s just no pressure – just come out and have fun, and when we do that we win.”

“I may have pictured a different route, but the WBI – we’re playing talent more on our level. We’re not playing Mississippi State or South Carolina or Texas. We know going in that we really have a chance. As long as we play our game, do the game plan that Coach Rushing sets up for us, we feel like we have a great chance to win.”

“[Sells] is looking more to attack, and as fast as she is she can attack on anybody. When she drives, it draws people in because she can hit those layups, and she can pass the ball. When she looks to attack it opens up a lot of things and I’m really proud of her. If she keeps that mentality going forward with Coach Rushing, she’s going to be pretty great here.”

“It’s so much fun playing at home. At the end of the season there’s a lot of travel, so it’s great to be in my own bed and on the court we practice on every day and be in front of the fans who have supported me these three years. It’s just a lot of fun. The more the merrier, right? I thought Senior Night was my last night playing here, but the WBI has blessed me.”

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