The University of Central Arkansas Bears didn't score a field goal in the final 5:40 Monday night but still took Lamar to the wire in a 78-75 loss at the Farris Center.
With Lamar leading 78-75 with 17 seconds left, the Cards; Colton Westerbrod missed two free throws, making it four consecutive missed free throws in the final seconds for Lamar. After a timeout, the Bears' Thatch Unruh missed a 3-pointer with one second left.
Lamar won its conference opener and upped its record to 9-5. UCA fell to 2-13, 1-1.
Jordan Howard scored 21 points to lead UCA. Mathieu Kamba had 18 and Ethan Lee 10.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Sugar Bears had an easy time with Northwestern State in evening their Southland Conference mark.
The UCA women (9-3, 1-1) never trailed in a 76-43 romp over Northwestern State (6-7, 0-2).
After getting just 15 free throw attempts in the conference opener, the Sugar Bears had considerably more success at the line on Monday, making a season-high 22 on 26 attempts – good for 84.6 percent, also the team’s best mark this season.
It wasn’t just the free throw line where the Sugar Bears did their damage, however, as they shot 52 percent (26 of 50) and outscored the Lady Demons 44-20 in the paint. NSU, meanwhile, was held to 31.9 percent shooting from the field and was just 1 of 7 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range.
Kierra Jordan – facing her former coach in NSU’s Jordan Dupuy, formerly the associate head coach at Southern Miss – had a game-high 19 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes to lead the Sugar Bears. She was one of four Central Arkansas players to reach double digits in scoring, with Maggie Proffitt getting 13, Raquel Logan 11 and Taylor Strickland 10. Mullins equaled Jordan’s rebound total of six, and added a game-high seven assists – giving her 18 over her last three games, her best stretch of the season. Angel Williams, making her fourth start of the season, tied a career high with nine points.
The Sugar Bears will now take to the road for their next three, beginning with a clash against defending Southland champion and preseason favorite Abilene Christian Saturday on ESPN3.