The UCA Sugar Bears got back in the win column with their 71-51 victory over Sam Houston State Feb. 16 at the Farris Center.
Junior Center Courtney Duever had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. It was her 10th double-double of the season.
“I was just in the zone,” Duever said. “To be honest, I was tired of losing. We all were. I knew I needed to step up and it happened. We were in danger of not making the conference tournament and desperately needed this win. It’s a much needed momentum boost at this point in the season.”
Duever was 9-17 shooting from the field and 10-13 at the free throw line.
“Courtney had a really good game for us,” UCA Head Coach Sandra Rushing said. “We needed someone to step up with Micah being out. When you lose your starting point guard, it really affects a team. Courtney filled that void in a big way.”
The win was UCA’s first since beating Lamar in overtime on Jan. 26, snapping a five-game losing streak and improving the Sugar Bears to 14-11 overall and 7-7 in Southland Conference play.
UCA’s 19-3 scoring run in the first half gave the Sugar Bears a 37-23 lead at halftime.
The loss knocked the Bearkats to 13-12 on the year and 9-4 in conference and out of first place.
Senior forward Megan Herbert added 19 points and 13 rebounds. It was the 79th double-double of her career, moving her into third place for most by a Division I player.
Herbert’s 19 points moved her into fourth on the Southland Conference career scoring list. She needs three rebounds to move into second in league history.
Senior forward Britney Gowans was 4-5 shooting from 3-point range to add 14 points.
Bearkats senior forward Britni Martin, who is fourth in the league in scoring, was held to just 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
The Sugar Bears committed a season-low six turnovers, and scored 13 points off nine turnovers from Sam Houston State.
“We played our most complete game of the year,” Rushing said. “We were very smart with the basketball and that showed in having only six turnovers. The past few games have been a different story but I’m very proud of the way our team played, especially against a good team like Sam Houston.”
The Sugar Bears began the week losing 60-58 in overtime to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Feb. 15 at the Farris Center.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-20, 2-10) is in last place in the Southland Conference standings.
The Sugar Bears never led in the game, trailing by as many as 19 in the second half.
UCA tied the game with 30 seconds left on a turnaround jumper by Duever and stopped the Islanders on their final possession of regulation to send the game to overtime.
The Sugar Bears were held scoreless the final two minutes of overtime.
Herbert had a season-high 35 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, but rimmed out a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Herbert had 22 of UCA’s 27 points at halftime. The rest of the team shot just 24 percent from the field with none scoring in double figures.
Junior guards Taryn Gregory and Ashley Darley each had 12 points for the Islanders. Freshman guard Janae Blount added 10 points.
The Sugar Bears start a three-game road trip before returning to the Farris Center on March 9 for the regular season finale against Oral Roberts.