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Seminole Indian

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« on: January 20, 2018, 07:36:05 pm »

CONWAY, Ark. _ Senior guard Jordan Howard broke the career scoring mark at the University of Central Arkansas on Saturday afternoon but the Bears dropped an 80-63 decision to the Abilene Christian Wildcats in front of a crowd of 1,317 at the Farris Center.

Howard scored 28 points, which put him one point in front of UCA Hall of Famer Clifton Bush, who set the record in 1992. Howard was the only UCA player in double figures as the Bears could not sustain their momentum from Wednesday night's victory at New Orleans. UCA shot 52 percent from the field in the first half but dropped off to just 31.3 percent in the second half and finished with its lowest point total of the season.

ACU (13-8, 5-3) outscored UCA (10-11, 4-4) 42-26 in the second half, shooting 55.2 percent from the field.

"We need guys to get their averages, and I just felt today the effort was not there,' said UCA head coach Russ Pennell. "I don't know if it was fatigue... it was a long trip last week. But that's an excuse, everybody in this league has long trips. I think the biggest thing is we've got to understand that effort has to be consistent. I just didn't feel like the effort was there consistently. It was at times, but not consistently.

"I did see fatigue in the team yesterday. (Friday) We didn't practice very long. And I thought today there were some dull eyes in that huddle. We tried to kind of get them to go, but it just didn't work out today. Disappointing loss, very disappointed guys in the locker room. But it's part of this sport, sometimes it doesn't work out in your favor.'

The Bears trailed by just one at 38-37 at halftime, despite the Wildcats hitting 7 of 14 from three-point range. But that quickly became a larger deficit as five ACU players finished in double figures, led by sophomore Jalone Friday. He scored 18 points, including a pair of three-pointers as the Wildcats made 10 of 22 from beyond the arc.

Howard went 10 of 18 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range to pad his UCA career and SLC three-point record to 342 with 10 regular-season games remaining. The rest of the team struggled from beyond the arc, going 1 of 14 from three-point range. UCA's second-leading scorer Mathieu Kamba was held to 3 points and 5 rebounds, after scoring 23 in UCA's 81-57 win over New Orleans.

Freshman center Hayden Koval finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 6 blocked shots, while junior Thatch Unruh had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Freshman point guard DeAndre Jones finished with 5 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

"Credit to Jordan,' said Pennell. "I congratulated him in the locker room, and congratulated his teammates, for everyone that has ever thrown him a ball, or ever set him a screen. This is a team deal, too. His name will be in the record book but the team can be proud they helped him get that.'
Jaylen Franklin followed Friday with 16 points for ACU, while Jaren Lewis had 13 and Payten Ricks had 11. Tevin Foster was 3 of 3 from three-point range and also added 11 points. Lewis had a game-high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. ACU outrebounded UCA 40-29.

"I thought it was going to be a good shooting day,' said Pennell. "DeAndre hits the first three of the game. In fact, I thought that may have been our best offensive possession of the day. We've been shooting it good in practice, but three-point shooting just comes and goes. We just have to stay in the gym and get that locked in.

"And people know we can shoot the three. The big thing is, I didn't think we attacked the bucket enough today. We were working so hard to get Jordan open the rest of the guys forgot about trying to get open and play. I thought we lost our agressiveness. I thought we quit attacking. Mathieu really struggled, he just didn't have a very good game at all. Usually he's attacking that rim and everything else.

"Like they say, you want your cowboys to show up at the showdown. And tonight we just didn't do that.'

The Bears, who have played four of their past five games on the road heading into the ACU game, host Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Farris Center.

"We still have a good team, we still have 10 games to go,' said Pennell. "We've just got to pick ourselves up and get ready for Wednesday. If I know these guys, they'll bounce back. Is it good enough effort, we'll see. But that's usually the way they are, they are pretty resilient. And I think that's the frustrating thing right now, you have a high performance at New Orleans with the effort, then you come home and kind of lay an egg. '

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