Senior Guards DeShone McClure, LaQuentin Miles and Ryan Williams will no longer call the Farris Center home, as this was their final game to play for UCA. McClure had 21 points against the Lumberjacks while Miles had 18 points and seven rebounds.
Miles is the most highly-regarded of the three, and he talked about what his experience at UCA meant to him along with his future plans.
“It was a blessing the entire time, no matter if things were up or down I’m thankful for everything,” he said. “My next step is the NBA,” Miles said.
SFA, who is now on a 25-game winning streak, led by 12 at the half at 42-30, and increased its lead throughout the second half. At the second half it was a 73-44 game with eight minutes left. That 29-point lead would be SFA’s largest of the game. They would go on to win by 24.
The Lumberjacks were led by sophomore guard Thomas Walkup‘s 24 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Desmond Haymon had 20 points and eight rebounds, while senior guard Deshaunt Walker had 16 points and junior forward Jacob Parker had 12 of each.
SFA only held a one-percent advantage in field goals, but they had far more rebounds and assists with fewer turnovers than UCA. They out-rebounded the Bears by 19 and had 10 more assists.
The Lumberjacks will be the No. 1 seed in the Southland Conference tournament, which begins on March 12. UCA failed to qualify for the tournament after finishing 11th out of 14 teams in the conference.
UCA will begin next season with a new coach, as they recently hired alumnus Russ Pennell to take over for interim coach Clarence Finley. Pennell was the interim coach for the Arizona Wildcats in 2008 following legendary coach Lute Olson‘s leave of absence due to health problems. Pennell took the Wildcats to the sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before falling to Louisville.