Sugar Bears improve undefeated home record to 12-0

It took two overtimes for the Sugar Bears to defeat the McNeese State Cowgirls, 71-70, handing the Cowgirls their first conference loss of the season on Saturday at the Farris Center.
“That’s as good a college basketball game, men or women, I’ve been a part of,” coach Matt Daniel said. “That’s an environment that was phenomenal.”
The Sugar Bears held a 25-24 lead at halftime and kept the lead through the second half until Cowgirls’ senior Martika Hull made a shot to tie the game. Two free throws made by Cowgirls’ junior guard Caitlyn Baggett later on put the Cowgirls up by two. The Cowgirls extended their lead to three points with less than a minute to play in the game.
Sugar Bears’ junior guard Micah Rice hit a three-point shot in the final seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, the Sugar Bears were found at the free throw line multiple times. The Cowgirls had the lead most of the period. It was the last free throw shot made by Sugar Bears senior guard Nakeia Guiden that tied the game at 58 and took the game into another overtime.
Once Rice scored two points to put the Sugar Bears ahead, they remained in the lead for the rest of the game. The winning points came from two free throws by junior forward Megan Herbert. Baggett ended the game at 71-70 with her two free throws.
Midway through the first half, Herbert scored her 1,500th point which made her the eighth player to join the 1,500 club at UCA.
“It’s a great honor and I didn’t even know it happened,” Herbert said. “I was just focused on beating McNeese. They were a great team and wouldn’t go down without a fight. I looked up and there was only six minutes left.”
Herbert ended the game with 32 points and15 rebounds.
“This was a marquee game. McNeese had very good rebounding.” Daniel said. “McNeese did a great job of execution. With the NCAA tournament committee watching, I’m proud of the team.”
The Sugar Bears’ second half performance led them to victory again on Wednesday in a 71-54 victory over the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions in conference play at the Farris Center.
Daniel said one thing that helped them in the second half was turnovers.
The Sugar Bears converted 48 percent of their field goals, 46.2 percent of their three-point field goals and 60.7 percent of their free throws.
In the first half, they shot 30.8 percent on field goals, 25 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line. They trailed at halftime 24-21.
Picking up the slack in the second half, their field goal percentage improved to 66.7 percent and their three-point percentage increased to 80 percent.
The Sugar Bears started the game slowly and trailed early. With the half coming to an end, the Lady Lions managed to tie the game at 20, and pulled ahead for a three-point lead at the half.
The Sugar Bears took over control of the second half within the beginning 30 seconds with a three-point basket from junior forward Desiree Rogers, tying the game at 24. Obtaining the lead over the Lady Lions, 29-28, the Sugar Bears held on to it for the remainder of the game.
The two victories moved the Sugar Bears to 16-4 overall and 6-1 in conference play.
The Sugar Bears will go on the road this week for games against the Northwestern State Lady Demons tonight in Natchitoches, La. and the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks on Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

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