The Sugar Bears basketball team had two games, one against the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Islanders and another against the Houston Baptist University Huskies, that were decided in the last four seconds.
UCA had a heartbreaking 45-42 loss against TAMUCC on Feb.13, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
This defensive game held both teams shooting less than 32 percent from the floor.
The Sugar Bears (16-8, 10-3 SLC) shot a higher percentage, 31.5 percent compared to the Islanders 28.3 percent, but lost the game.
The Islanders (14-11, 7-7 SLC) won the rebounding battle 41-36.
TAMUCC had the edge in free throws. The Islanders made 12 of 14 free throws and held UCA to only shooting five free throws, while the Sugar Bears made four of them.
All of the free throws came in the second half.
The first half started with the Islanders hitting their stride immediately.
They started an 8-0 run that didn’t stop until 10:35 left in the first half when freshman guard Brianna Mullins hit a jump shot to give the Sugar Bears their first two points.
Neither team hit the 20-point mark in the first half.
TAMUCC led UCA at halftime, 19-15.
The Sugar Bears shot 23.1 percent in the first half and three players scored.
Senior guard Micah Rice led all scorers with nine, Mullins had four and senior center Courtney Duever added two.
Rice said the offense didn’t play up to par.
“It was just a rough night for us offensively,” she said. “The mindset was to play solid defense and try to get a stop.”
The Sugar Bears came out strong to start the second half and took the lead with 14:11 left in the game. They kept the lead for most of the second half.
The Islanders came back and tied it with two pairs of free throws.
TAMUCC hit a pair of free throws to tie the game with 40 seconds left in the game. A late turnover from Duever with 17 seconds left in the game led to a three-pointer from Islander senior guard Jasmine Shaw to seal the win.
Rice said she felt like she defended straight up but Shaw hit a tough shot.
Shaw is the leading scorer for the Islanders with 16.2 points per game.
The Sugar Bears bounced
back after that loss and had another thriller in the last seconds, this time coming out on top.
UCA played the Houston Baptist University Huskies (11-14, 7-7 SLC) in Houston, Texas on Feb. 15.
The Sugar Bears won the game with a jumper from Duever with four seconds left in the game to make the score 57-55.
Duever said there was no play, and that she put up a shot.
“We didn’t have a play drawn up. Maggie just had the opportunity and passed the ball,” she said. “I just had the ball and threw it near the goal and it went in.”
The Huskies weren’t able to make the final shot with one second left to pull out the win.
At the start of the game, it didn’t take long for HBU to jump out to a double-digit lead.
The Huskies shot 52.2 percent in the first half and made eight of 10 free throws.
UCA kept coming back, but couldn’t stop the Huskies from
pushing the score to double figures four different times in the first half.
Junior guard Kelsei Ewings hit
a three-pointer to bring HBU’s lead down to nine.
The Huskies led the Bears at halftime, 32-23.
UCA cranked up its defense, holding HBU to shooting only 21.7 percent from the floor in the second half.
The Huskies made 13 of 14 free throws in the second half.
The Sugar Bears also hit their offensive stride and shot 50 percent from the floor.
Duever made six of nine shots and hit a free throw in the second half, scoring 13 points.
Duever got a layup to go with 17:43 left in the game, bringing the score within five, and neither team got a larger lead the rest of the game.
It was a closely contested second half all the way down the stretch. Duever scored with four seconds left to put the Sugar Bears up by two and win the game.
Freshman guard Proffitt played an instrumental role down the stretch.
She hit two clutch free throws with 2:09 left in the game to put the Sugar Bears up by one.
After the Huskies hit two free throws to gain the lead by a point, Proffitt hit a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left in the game to put UCA back up by two.
Duever finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Proffitt had 12 points and was two of three from behind the three-point line.
Junior forward Brittany Agee was the third Sugar Bear to reach double digit point totals with 10.
Sophomore forward Monet Neal was the lone Huskie in double figures with 11 points.
The win helped UCA retain the No. 1 seed in the conference.
The Sugar Bears will play Oral Roberts University on Feb. 22, in the Farris Center.
The Golden Eagles beat UCA in their last meeting 70-60 on Jan. 11, in the Mabee Center.
ORU and UCA average 64.0 points per game.
ORU has allowed 72.1 ppg while UCA has allowed 56.3 ppg.
UCA’s scoring defense is 12th in the nation.
The Sugar Bears have shot 43 percent from the field for the season. The Golden Eagles are shooting 40 percent from the field.
UCA also has the edge in rebounding, averaging 37 rebounds per game while ORU has averaged 35.8 rpg.
The Sugar Bears are 10-3 the conference and the Golden Eagles are 6-7.
ORU hasn’t won a game on the road this season, going 0-13 while UCA is 10-3 in the Farris Center.
The Sugar Bears are also shooting a higher 3-point percentage, 34.2 percent, than the Golden Eagles, 32.8 percent.
This season UCA has had 356 turnovers while ORU has had 419 turnovers.