Burns leads Little Rock to victory over South Alabama
LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Deondre Burns scored 22 points with seven rebounds and five assists as Little Rock routed South Alabama 91-62 on Saturday afternoon.
Jaizec Lottie added 17 points for the Trojans (7-10, 2-2 Sun Belt). Nikola Maric had 14 points and Kamani Johnson had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Little Rock shot 61 percent from the field compared to 40 percent for South Alabama.
The Trojans scored first and led all the way, taking it to 30-19 on a Lottie layup with 8:02 left in the first and stretching it to 52-32 at the break.
South Alabama's Trhae Mitchell and Josh Ajayi tried to cut Little Rock's lead early in the second half, closing to 56-39 with 15:29 to play but a Kris Bankston dunk and a Burns 3-pointer helped stretch it to 69-46 with 12:06 left and the Trojans cruised from there.
Mitchell scored 22 points with six rebounds to lead the Jaguars (9-8, 2-2). Ajayi and Kory Holden each added 14.
TROY 90, ARKANSAS STATE 85, OT.
JONESBORO (AP) — Jordon Varnado scored 27 points, B.J. Miller added a career-high 21, and Troy beat Arkansas State 90-85 in overtime on Saturday.
Miller's layup with 1:42 left in overtime gave the Trojans (9-7, 2-2 Sun Belt Conference) the lead for good at 86-85. Javan Johnson made a pair of free throws to make it a three-point lead with 1:19 left and, after the Red Wolves (8-9, 2-2) missed four 3-point attempts that would have tied it in the final minute, Darian Adams capped the scoring with two free throws with four seconds left.
Troy trailed 78-73 with a minute to go in regulation. Johnson made a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left and Miller drew an offensive foul against Ty Cockfield to set up a layup with two seconds remaining to force overtime.
Johnson had 17 points and Alex Hicks scored 12 for Troy.
Cockfield led Arkansas State with 31 points. Marquis Eaton added 16 points, Tristin Walley had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Grantham Gillard scored 11.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS 75, LAMAR 68
CONWAY (AP) — Thatch Unruh hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points and Central Arkansas shot 52 percent from beyond the arc in a 75-68 victory over Lamar on Saturday.
Unruh sank 4 of 8 from distance and added four assists for the Bears (7-10, 2-2 Southland Conference). Reserve Matthew Mondesir contributed 13 points, matching his career high, and added four rebounds and four assists. DeAndre Jones and Hayden Koval finishd with 10 points apiece.
Nick Garth paced the Cardinals (8-9, 1-3) with 18 points off the bench. Christian Barrett pitched in with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Neither team led by more than five points in the first half and Central Arkansas took a 37-34 lead into intermission after Eddy Kayouloud's 3-pointer with 36 seconds left. Lamar hung tough in the second half and took a 57-56 lead on a Garth free throw with 6:42 left to play. But Jones hit two free throws and Koval and Khaleem Bennett scored on dunks in an 8-0 run and the Bears led the rest of the way.
HENDERSON STATE 70, SW OKLAHOMA STATE 62
ARKADELPHIA — Henderson State's shots did not always fall on Saturday afternoon but its defense never wavered and helped carry the Reddies to a 70-62 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State.
The Reddies (10-5, 5-4) shot just 31.8 percent from the floor on Saturday afternoon but forced SWOSU, who hit on 35.1 percent of its looks, into similar shooting struggles while forcing 19 turnovers and committing only eight themselves.
Anthony Lupardus led the way with 15 points and Joshua Jones added 13. Both Lupardus and Jones hit three 3-pointers on the day. Raekwon Rogers dominated in the paint for Henderson and finished with 12 points and a season-high 15 rebounds — an astounding 10 of which came on the offensive end of the floor.
Henderson got off to a quick start and used two 3-pointers from Jones and strong defense early to take a 17-3 advantage in the game's first seven minutes. SWOSU responded, though, and used the remainder of the half to get back into the game, eventually trimming the deficit down to 32-29 at the break.
In what was a much tighter second half, SWOSU came within two points on two separate occasions but the Reddies never relinquished the lead. With HSU up 42-40 with just over 11 minutes left, Henderson strung together its best run since the opening minutes and used a 16-7 stretch to open up a 58-47 advantage with 6:13 to play. The Reddies never let the Bulldogs threaten again and maintained their double digit lead until the game's final seconds.
Henderson out-scored SWOSU 24-14 in the paint, out-rebounded the Bulldogs 40-37 and shot 28 free throws to Southwestern's 12. SWOSU's Tre Evans, who came into the game leading the GAC in scoring at just over 24 points per game, was held to six points and seven turnovers on the day by the HSU defense and fouled out with more than seven minutes left.