The UCA men’s basketball team was unable to pick up a win on its two-game road trip against the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Islanders on Feb. 13, 84-73, and the Houston Baptist University Huskies Feb. 15, 99-83.
The Bears (6-18, 3-10 SLC) and Islanders (13-14, 9-4 SLC) played a close game on Feb. 13 with the score 71-70 with 4:55 left in the game.
UCA turned the ball over four times and TAMUCC hit nine of 15 free throws in the final five minutes to put the Bears away.
The Islanders outscored UCA 13-3 in the final five minutes to sweep the season series.
The Bears shot 48.1 percent from the field, while TAMUCC shot 66 percent. The Islanders shot 71.3 percent from the field in the first half.
UCA made five of eight three-pointers in the first half, but made one of six in the second half to shoot 42.9 percent from behind the three-point line.
The Bears shot 81 percent from the free throw line, up from the season average 60.5 percent.
UCA had two players in double figures with senior guard LaQuentin Miles leading the team in scoring with 25 points. He finished with two assists, one steal and six rebounds.
Freshman guard DuShaun Rice scored 13 points and made a team leading three three-pointers.
Five Islanders reached double digits in points with junior guard Hameed Ali leading the team with 16 points. He finished with three assists and one block.
Senior forward Zane Knowles was one rebound away from a double-double with nine rebounds and 14 points.
Junior guard John Jordan finished with 10 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Sophomore guard Brandon Pye scored 13 points and freshman forward Rashawn Thomas scored 14 points and had five rebounds, two assists and one block off the bench.
In Saturday’s game, Miles and junior guard Lennell Brown combined for 49 points, but didn’t overcome Houston Baptist’s (5-21, 2-12 SLC) offense.
HBU’s win snapped a nine-game losing streak. It was also their second win in conference play, as well as the second win in 18 games.
The first half was a battle with the teams trading the lead five times.
The Huskies gained the lead for the final time with 2:40 left in the first half on a jumper by sophomore guard Rob Lewis.
HBU led UCA going into halftime, with the score 41-38.
The Huskies exploded in the second half with 58 points, the most the Bears have given up in the second half this season.
UCA didn’t shoot well from the field during the game and finished with a 36 percent shooting percentage, while the Huskies shot 54.2 percent.
The Bears had a slightly higher free throw percentage with 69.7 percent, while the Huskies shot 69.6 percent.
Three players reached double figures with Miles leading the team with 27 points and eight rebounds. His 27 points made it his 12th 20-point game. Brown scored 22 points, making three three-pointers.
Senior guard DeShone McClure said Brown is capable of more games like this.
“[Brown] played well for us as well, but he has been capable of that,” he said. “He’s a good player.”
The Huskies had four players scoring in double-digits with Lewis scoring 26. He had four assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Graduate center Ricmonds Vilde, sophomore guard/forward Caleb Crayton and freshman Colter Lasher scored 18 points, 13 and 11, respectively.
Lasher and Crayton had seven rebounds each, while Vilde had six.
Sophomore forward Dauson Womack led HBU with 11 rebounds.
The Bears will return home for a three-game home trip with the first game at 4 p.m. Saturday against Oral Roberts University.
In the last meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Bears, Oral Roberts won 93-80 in Tulsa.
The Golden Eagles grabbed 50 rebounds, while UCA had 29.
Oral Roberts is fifth in the Southland Conference tournament, with a 13-13 record overall and a 7-6 conference record.
The Golden Eagles are led by senior forward Glover Shawn with
21.8 points per game, which is good for second in the SLC behind Miles’ 22.8 ppg.
Shawn has a 51.5 three-point percentage.
The Bears will finish the final two home games of the season against Sam Houston State on Feb. 27 and Lamar University on March 3.