By DAVID MCCOLLUM
LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER
The University of Central Arkansas men have won four of their last five games.
They went 1-1 over the weekend (losing at the buzzer to Southeastern Louisiana and defeating Nicholls State) without Jarvis Garner, who served a two-game disciplinary suspension and should return to the Bears’ lineup Thursday when the Bears take on Southland Conference co-leader Stephen F. Austin on the road.
“I think the young man learned a lesson,” UCA coach Corliss Williamson said Monday at the weekly Bearbacker luncheon. “He realized he let down the staff and his teammates. He made a mistake and owned up to it and apologized and talked to the team about it.
“Whether it’s an injury or a suspension, we have confidence guys can come off the bench and are capable of stepping up. It’s not just one guy.We do it by committee.”
In the victory over Nicholls State on Saturday, UCA got 25 second-chance points and contributions from several players.
“We’re happy where we are right now,” said Williamson. “Our rookies are playing well. Terrell Brown, Lenell Brown and Zach Padgett came off the bench to give good minutes Saturday (11 players on both teams had three or more fouls in a game that had 63 free throws).”
UCA (9-11, 4-6) has road games Thursday night against SFA (9-1 in the league) and Northwestern State, the third-place team in the league.
“I think we have the confidence,” said Williamson. “Shot selection will be important. We will have to change the tempo against SFA and match it against Northwestern State, which is one of the highest scoring teams in the country.”
The UCA Sugar Bears (13-6, 6-4) went 1-3 on the homestand and coach Sandra Rushing said there will likely be lineup changes against SFA.
“When you are turning the ball over 24 times, you’ve got to make some adjustments,” she said. “We turned the ball over, we missed blockouts, we threw the ball in the stands — all kinds of things. Hopefully, it’s a wakeup call.”
She added to the Sugar Bears’ major supporters, “Don’t giove up on us.”
Rushing said she received some good news when senior guard Micah Rice, who has been out since December with a knee injury and is a candidate for a hardship season, told her Monday she wanted to be at practice that afternoon.
“She’s out of shape, but she wants to help the team,” Rushing said. “I think she wants to go out with this senior group. She will practice. Whether she plays is up to her.”
(David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)