CONWAY, Ark.- Foul trouble and shooting woes spelled doom for the Bearkats as they fell to Central Arkansas, 69-44, on Wednesday night at the Farris Center.
The Kats (3-8, 0-2 SLC) shot 22.7 percent from the field in the first half, falling into a 37-15 halftime hole that they could not dig their way out of.
Jenniffer Oramas paced the Bearkats with 14 points off of 4 of 10 shooting, adding three assists and a pair of steals. Akarian Morgan also had a nice night for the Kats finishing with 14 points and eight boards.
Mekaylan Hicks led the Sugar Bears (10-4, 3-0 SLC) with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Taylor Baudoin finished a rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points. Kierra Jordan also had a stellar outing finishing with an 11-10 stat line to give her a double-double.
The Bearkats will open home SLC play on Saturday, January 6, with a home showdown against UIW. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. from Johnson Coliseum.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
The Kats found themselves up 5-2 thanks to a Oramas three-pointer with 8:21 to go in the first period, however the Sugar Bears answered with a 10-0 run that didn’t end until Kiera McKinney made a layup with a little under two minutes remained in the period.
The Bearkats shooting woes continued into the second quarter as the Bearkats didn’t score until a little under two and a half minutes to go in the quarter thanks to a Oramas layup to snap a 17-0 Sugar Bear run that helped UCA go into the locker room with a 37-15 advantage.
The Bearkats found themselves in foul trouble quickly as they committed eight first-quarter fouls and 13 total in the half. The Sugar Bears took advantage of the Kat’s foul trouble going 10-12 from the stripe in the half.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The Bearkats righted the boat in the third quarter outscoring the Sugar Bears 17-14. Oramas led the charge in the quarter scoring six points and dished out two assists. The teams were going back-and-forth all quarter before a Morgan three-pointer with 1:04 left in the quarter sparked a quick 6-0 run to close out the third.
Neither team converted a field goal to open up the fourth quarter until Jordan made a layup with 7:08 left in the contest. Morgan had a quick scoring burst with 5 points in 31 seconds thanks to two layups and a free throw. Both teams traded buckets after that with Central Arkansas outscoring the Kats 18-12 in the final period.