Keys Erupts for 25 Points, 13 Boards in UALR Women’s Basketball Win Over Georgia Southern

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FAYETTEVILLE, AR – Keanna Keys had the best day of her UALR career against Georgia Southern on Saturday, helping the Trojans to their 14th conference victory of the season.

Keys had 25 points and snagged 13 rebounds – both career highs – to record her first career double-double in a 60-43 UALR victory at the Jack Stephens Center.

Keys had 13 points and six rebounds at halftime, and the sophomore only added to that total in the second half. She made all 11 of her field goal attempts and also finished 3 of 3 from the free-throw line.

UALR (21-3, 14-1 Sun Belt Conference) completed its season sweep of Georgia Southern (4-19, 1-13) with the victory, and the Trojans have now taken a 1 1/2-game lead over idle Arkansas State for first place in the league standings. The Red Wolves are up next for UALR, with the teams meeting in the Jack Stephens Center on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Besides Keys on her career day, no other Trojan was in double-figure scoring against the Eagles. Shanity James (9), Ka’Nesheia Cobbins (8) and Kiera Clark (8) were all close, but none could crack 10 points. Cobbins finished second on the team with eight rebounds and also topped the Trojans with six assists.
The win was UALR’s fifth overall and 22nd straight conference win at home.

The first half of Saturday’s game saw both teams struggle offensively, but the Trojans’ forwards were the exception to that. Keys had the best half of her career to that point, scoring 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting while also hitting all three of her free-throw attempts. The sophomore also led all players with six rebounds.
James also tallied 5 points for UALR in the first half while adding four rebounds, and Clark was solid off the bench with 8 points.

UALR scored the first 5 points of the afternoon before Georgia Southern went on an 8-3 run to tie the game at 8-8. But for the rest of the half, the Trojans built their lead into double digits as the Eagles went cold. They finished the first 20 minutes shooting just 6 of 25 (24.0 percent), and the Trojans capitalized on nine Eagles turnovers with 13 points. UALR went into the break leading 28-15, the team’s largest lead of the half.

In the second half, the Trojans shot out to a 16-point lead when Alexius Dawn sank her first 3-pointer of the afternoon. But the Eagles responded after that while the UALR offense got cold. With 12:34 left in the game, an Abby Hix 3-pointer – one of three for the Eagles in the half to that point – brought the game back within single digits as UALR led only 37-28. Georgia Southern was again within 10 points on a Briana Jones layup with 9:28 to play.

After that, though, Cobbins hit a free throw and Keys made a jumper, and the Eagles were never closer than 12 points again.

At the end of the game, UALR had outrebounded Georgia Southern 41-32, had 15 assists to the Eagles’ five and scored 17 points off 13 Eagles turnovers. Georgia Southern ended the game shooting just 26 percent (13 of 50) while the Trojans shot 43.9 percent (25 of 57).

Taylor Gault had an off shooting night, but with a jumper in the second half reached 4 points in the game. That shot brought her to 1,800 points in her UALR career. Other milestones reached on the night included James’ 200th made free throw and Cobbins’ 250th rebound.

Up next for UALR is quite possibly the team’s biggest game of the season. The Trojans will welcome second-place Arkansas State to Little Rock for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff on Thursday. The Red Wolves beat the Trojans 70-69 in Jonesboro in late January, and that was UALR’s lone Sun Belt loss of the season.

(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)

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