Heading into Sunday, she has company.
Just 12 seconds into Saturday's game against Northwestern State, Central Arkansas senior forward Megan Herbert scored the 2,000th point of her career to join Griner in the exclusive club and became just the 57th player in the history of Division I women's basketball to surpass 2,000 points and 1,200 rebounds as she led the Sugar Bears to a 60-44 win against the Lady Demons to keep the nation's third-longest home winning streak intact.
Herbert finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds, giving her career totals of 2,020 points and 1,263 rebounds which makes her one of just three players in Southland Conference history with 2,000 and 1,200, and leaves her tied for fourth place on the Central Arkansas career scoring list and seventh in Southland history. She is the nation's active Division I career leader in rebounds and career rebound average, holds the Central Arkansas career rebound record and is seven away from fourth in the history of the league.
"It's huge, it really is," said Herbert, who also received a plaque prior to the game for setting both the Central Arkansas career rebound record and the Southland Conference career free throws made record in recent weeks. "Not many people get the opportunity to do something like this, and it's great to do it at home and celebrate it with my teammates, parents, family, our fans and everybody. It's a really big accomplishment, and I'm happy that I was able to do it while there are still games left and we still get to try to go win another championship."
The Sugar Bears (11-4, 4-0 Southland) won their 22nd straight home game, 25th consecutive regular-season home game and 13th straight conference game in the Farris Center, leading from wire-to-wire against the Lady Demons (5-10, 1-4).
That lead started on the first possession of the game, a play designed to give Herbert an early opportunity for her 2,000th point and allow for stoppage of play to present her with the game ball. She played it according to script, knocking down the shot and giving the Sugar Bears a lead they would not relinquish.
"It was important to come in on the first play and get it over with so we could really start the game and not have that to worry about," she said. "We ran a simple play and Coach Rushing told me to go. It was really fun and exciting to have that moment and to be able to do it at Central Arkansas. We're a smaller school and not many people look at us, and I'm a smaller post so to be able to accomplish all of this shows how much work I've put in, my teammates have put in, and the coaches have put in over the last four years to build this program up to where it is."
The Sugar Bears closed the first half with an 11-0 run to take a 31-18 lead into the locker room, and continued to pour it on in the second half - leading by as many as 24 midway through the period. The Lady Demons were never a factor from that point, drawing no closer than 16 over the last 13 minutes.
"We came out more focused," said Central Arkansas head coach Sandra Rushing. "We were better in the second half than we were Thursday against SFA, but we still only outscored them by three. There were some things offensively that concern me, and we're a better free throw shooting team than we were tonight. But how about Megan? I'm so proud of her and all her accomplishments. I thought Courtney Duever had an outstanding offensive game, I'm really, really proud of her. And I've got to give credit to our bench. They came in and sparked us in the first half when we couldn't get anything going defensively. I thought Tyisha Amos was great even though she fouled out, Kelcia Bufkin did a great job as well. It was a good showing for our bench today."
Duever did not miss a shot, going 7-for-7 from the field including 3-for-3 from the 3-point range en route to 19 points. Desiree' Rogers added nine for the Sugar Bears. Tracey Parsons, who entered Saturday's game second in Southland play in assists at 5.7 per game, tied her season high with eight.
Jasmine Bradley had 10 points to lead Northwestern State, which fell to the Sugar Bears for the sixth time in the teams' last seven meetings. The lone win was on Feb. 2, 2011, when they defeated the Sugar Bears 76-72 in overtime in the Farris Center - Central Arkansas' last regular season and Southland Conference loss at home.
With the win and a Sam Houston State loss, the Sugar Bears survive the weekend as the league's only team unscathed in conference play. The Sugar Bears take to the road on Thursday, heading to Sam Houston before traveling to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday.
Josh Goff: UCA Media Relations