NATCHITOCHES, La. — The University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears were slow out of the gate Thursday and as Northwestern State led for more than 36 minutes on the way to a 77-45 rout of the Sugar Bears, their second straight loss and worst of the season.
Freshman guard Brianna Mullins led the Sugar Bears (18-10, 12-5) with 11 points and four assists, with Brittany Agee adding 10 points.
NSU (17-12, 10-7) shot 57.6 percent for the game while holding the Sugar Bears to just 32.7, making 34 field goals to UCA's 18. The Sugar Bears committed 15 turnovers to just seven for the Lady Demons, tied for the fewest forced by the Sugar Bears this season.
The loss was the most lopsided of the season for the Sugar Bears, topping their 27-point loss to Indiana on Nov. 18. Despite the setback, UCA enters the final game of the regular season with a chance for at least a share of the conference title as it faces Stephen F. Austin, which was 11-5 entering Thursday night's game with Oral Roberts. Lamar, which defeated the Sugar Bears last Saturday, also enters its season finale against Southeastern Louisiana with a 12-5 league record.
With Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's win over McNeese on Thursday, the Sugar Bears are guaranteed one of the top four seeds in the Southland Conference tournament next week in Katy, Texas, ensuring at least one bye. The Sugar Bears can still claim the league's title outright with a win over SFA Saturday coupled with a Southeastern Louisiana victory at Lamar.