DENTON, Texas - UALR (14-9, 8-4 SBC) captured its third-straight win overall and earned the season sweep of North Texas (8-14, 3-8 SBC) with a 62-57 win over the Mean Green on Saturday at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas. After losing its first seven true road games of the season, the Trojans have now captured back-to-back wins away from the Jack Stephens Center.
With the victory, UALR maintains sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt's West Division.
Junior Will Neighbour and freshmen Josh Hagins and James White led UALR with 11 points apiece. Neighbour rounded out his line with team highs in rebounds (6) and steals (4). Junior Leroy Isler added nine points and a steal.
UALR held North Texas to just 34.6 percent shooting from the field (21-of-51) and 31.8 percent from three-point range (7-of-22). The Trojans shot 41.2 percent from the floor (21-of-51) on the night and 46.2 percent from long range (6-of-13).
UALR's bench outscored the North Texas reserves, 24-0, led by White's 11 and eight points from freshman John Gillon.
The two teams each committed 16 turnovers, and points in the paint were knotted at 20-each.
Jordan Williams led the Mean Green with 22 points. Roger Franklin added 20, and Tony Mitchell scored 13 and blocked three shots.
After UALR took a 32-25 lead into halftime, the two teams traded buckets for the first four minutes of the second half. Trailing by seven, North Texas scored nine-unanswered points capped by a Williams three pointer to take its only lead of the second half, 37-35. After a called timeout by UALR, Hagins answered with a long two that tied the game, and Gillon sank a three from straightaway to regain the lead for the Trojans. A soft 10-foot jumper by Neighbour made it three-straight buckets for UALR, and White added a free throw to give UALR a 43-37 with 9:35 left to play.
A jump hook by sophomore Gus Leeper got the Trojans' lead to seven with 7:14 left, and after a free throw by Mitchell cut the Mean Green's deficit to four, White scored four-straight points to push UALR's lead back out to eight. Another bucket by White with 3:01 left on the clock gave UALR a nine-point lead, matching its largest of the game.
North Texas pulled within four, 67-51, on a three pointer by Williams with five seconds on the clock, but Hagins made one of two free throws after being fouled, and North Texas came up empty on its final offensive trip.
In the first half, UALR and North Texas went back and forth for the first ten minutes, with neither team gaining a lead larger than three. After North Texas took a one-point lead, 17-16, on a trey by Williams at the 9:21 mark, the Trojans went on a 10-2 run that included two treys by Hagins to go up 28-19 with less than five minutes left in the half. North Texas responded with a 6-0 run of its own to get back within three, but UALR scored the last four points of the half to take a 32-25 lead into the locker room.
UALR returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 2 when it hosts South Alabama in a doubleheader at the Jack Stephens Center. Tip-off for the men's game is set for 7 p.m.
Patrick Newton: Assistant Sports Information Director