Monday, December 22, 2014

Four-Guard Lineup Helps UALR Defeat Bradley 64-54

Article by UALR Sports Information.  Photo by Mark Wagner
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – UALR (5-5) stopped a four-game losing streak with a 64-54 win over Bradley (4-8) in the consolation game of the South Point Hoops Holiday Classic at South Point Arena & Equestrian Center on Monday.

Using a four-guard lineup for the majority of the game, UALR knocked down eight 3-pointers and spread for the floor for Roger Woods, who totaled 17 points, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals in arguably his best all-around game as a Trojan. Woods finished the game shooting 7 of 10 from the floor while knocking down his only 3-point try.

Woods was named to the South Point Hoops All-Tournament team after averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in UALR’s two games.

Ben Dillard scored a season-high 14 points and grabbed four rebounds while J.T. Thomas scored 11 points and blocked two shots. As a team, UALR turned it over just eight times and blocked a season-high 10 shots.

UALR did a good deal of damage from the foul line, knocking down 22 of 35 attempts from the charity stripe compared to 12 of 22 for the Braves. Playing with a small lineup had its compromises, as the Trojans were outrebounded 50-33, including 25-8 on the offensive glass.

But Bradley was unable to parlay its size advantage into a scoring edge. The Braves shot just 28.6 percent from the floor, including just 10 of 37 attempts (27.0 percent) in the second half. UALR’s quicker lineup was able to draw 27 fouls against the Bradley roster.

Leading by as many as 15 with 5:27 left in regulation, UALR allowed Bradley to claw its way back into the game. A 9-0 run by Bradley made it a six-point game with less than two minutes to play. Dillard hit two free throws on UALR’s next possession, however, and Bradley would get no closer than six the rest of the way.

The second half began with Dillard scoring five of UALR’s first seven points to help the Trojans build a 37-31 lead before the first media timeout. White followed a miss by DeVonte Smith to make it an eight-point margin, 39-31 with 15 minutes remaining.

UALR stretched its lead to 10 on back-to-back buckets by Woods. The 6-5 forward took a pass from James White and finished strong inside before blocking a shot on the other end, then knocking down a triple when UALR came back on offense. That sequence pushed UALR’s lead to 46-36 with 12:14 to play.

Thomas’ second 3-pointer of the game put the Trojans up 11, 49-38, with 8:29 left on the clock. Woods finished along with baseline with his left hand just under a minute later to make it a 13-point margin. Following a jumper by Bradley’s Omari Grier, Josh Hagins hit a corner 3 off an in-bounds to give UALR a 54-40 lead.

UALR took a 29-24 lead into halftime thanks in large part to a 12-of-16 effort at the foul line in the opening half.

The small lineup paid dividends early, as UALR jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead on the Braves. With the Trojans’ four guards spacing the floor, Woods was able to find driving lanes that created four early points. Both James Reid and Dillard knocked down 3-pointers in the game’s opening minutes.

UALR’s lead grew as large as nine on a woods jumper that made it 14-5 at the first half’s 13:26 mark. But UALR would not hit another field goal until Woods’ next basket at the 3:55 mark.

Bradley began to work its way back into the game, scoring seven of the game’s next nine points to pull within four with 9:39 left in the first half. A jumper by Omari Grier at the 5:18 mark briefly tied the game at 19-all. UALR answered by scoring the next three points and eight of the next 10 to take a 27-21 lead on 3 by Thomas with 2:06 left in the half. Dillard added two free throws and UALR took a 29-24 lead into halftime.

UALR will be back in action Tuesday, Dec. 30 when it opens Sun Belt play against Louisiana at the Jack Stephens Center.

Early Morning Fire Damages Forest Place Apartments

Article by Staff Reporter David Lear   File Photo by Arkansas Journal
Little Rock-- Little Rock Fire Department responded to Forest Place Apartments early this morning. When fire fighters arrived at the 1400 block of North University, they could see flames showing through the roof of the apartment complex. The area of today's fire was under construction. A previous fire was set by Lacey Moore on the south complex on June 28, 2013. Moore pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.  Today's fire is believed to be accidental. 

Threat To Blow Up I-55 Bridge Received By FBI

Article by Affiliate Tennessee Gazette 
Memphis, TN--Local officials acted on an anonymous tip today that someone was planning to blow up the I-55 bridge which goes from West Memphis, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee. The bridge crosses the Mississippi River. It opened on December 17, 1949. The FBI was quick to say that the threats have no credible source.

Criminal Threatens Witnesses In Benton

Article posted by Arkansas Journal

Benton--On 12/21/14, at approximately 11:10 pm, officers with the Benton Police Department responded to a disturbance call in the area of Hiland Street. Upon their arrival they made contact with two individuals who had been involved in the disturbance.  
One of them, Caitlin Earnest of Benton, was identified as a suspect who had been cited and released for Criminal Mischief that had occurred earlier the same date involving the same parties.  Based on information and evidence obtained during the investigation, it was determined that Earnest made threats to cause serious bodily harm to victims related to the case.   
Earnest was subsequently placed under arrest without incident and transported to the Saline County Detention Facility for processing.  Earnest is charged with Terroristic Threatening 1st Degree, Intimidating a Witness, Retaliation Against a Witness, and Criminal Trespassing. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Razorbacks Defeats OU Sunday


Article by Jeri Thorpe  Photo by Walt Beazley

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Jessica Jackson and Kelsey Brooks combined for 47 points leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to a 71-64 win over Oklahoma in the inaugural SEC/Big 12 Challenge in North Little Rock Sunday.
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Jackson scored 23 and Brooks dropped in 24 points in a foul-infested game at Verizon Arena.  Jackson went 8-for-16 from the floor with one three pointer and made six-for-seven from the line. Brooks tied the school record going to the line 20 times, making 11 for the Razorbacks (9-2).

Oklahoma opened the game on a 6-0 run forcing Arkansas to play catch up early.  With the help of a pro-Razorback crowd of 3,689, Arkansas chipped away climbing back into the game and taking a 12-11 lead after a spin move in the lane by Jackson for her first basket of the game.

A back-and-forth battle ensued until the Sooners again pulled away.  Arkansas went to its bench and Khadijah West came in and scored, had four blocks and led great defense as the Razorbacks put together a 6-0 run to retake the lead.  In seven minutes, West also grabbed three rebounds and had a free throw for the Razorbacks.

The game was tied at 31 with 1:23 to go in the opening frame when freshman McKinley Bostad hit a three from the corner giving Arkansas the lead.  West was fouled and made one bonus shot and, as time wound down, Brooks was fouled and made a pair of free throws sending Arkansas into the locker room with a 37-31 lead over the Sooners.

The second half was a mirror-image of the first as the teams played through seven lead changes and 11 ties in 40 minutes.

The Razorbacks had the advantage in most areas in the second frame, outscoring OU 34-33 in the second half and shooting better from the free throw line.

The Razorbacks outrebounded OU 40-34, winning the battle on the boards for the eighth time this year.  Junior Melissa Wolff was solid with six points and nine rebounds and senior Jhasmin Bowen added nine points in the win.

Arkansas stepped up its three-point field goal defense holding the Sooners to just two threes, well below their eight-plus per game average.

Arkansas breaks for the holiday before hosting Grambling State Dec. 29, in the final non-conference game of the season.  Join the Razorbacks for the 6 p.m. tip and get home in time to cheer on the  team in there 8 p.m. start.

Home Fires Are A Real Disaster

Article Posted by Arkansas Journal  Photo by Staff Photographer David Lear
Little Rock--During 2014, the American Red Cross helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. Day after day and in neighborhoods from coast to coast, their biggest disaster threat isn’t from tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, but home fires. Nearly every 8 minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community and approximately 93 percent of these are home fires.
Local American Red Cross volunteers in 12,500 communities across the nation responded at all hours of the day with food, blankets and comfort to help more than 211,000 people with nowhere else to turn after home fires in 2014. The Red Cross also provided financial support to tens of thousands of households after home fires to help replace lost belongings and begin the long road to recovery.

The work doesn’t end after the smoke clears. Red Cross volunteers across the country are helping to save lives through a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. Since the campaign launched in October, "we’ve already reached more than 29,000 people by installing more than 17,000 smoke alarms.These efforts have already saved five lives and we hope this is only the beginning." said the American Red Cross.

To learn more about the American Red Cross CLICK HERE


Article posted by Arkansas Journal   Photo by Josh Goff
CONWAY, Ark.-- In a game of scoring runs, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers put together the biggest ones at the most opportune times Sunday afternoon to record a 72-55 victory over the University of Central Arkansas Bears in non-conference action at the Farris Center.

    The Chanticleers (9-3) dominated the second half, shooting 50 percent from the field and holding the Bears (0-10) to just 30 percent. UCA was just 9 of 30 after shooting 45.8 percent in the first half, good for a 27-26 halftime lead.

    "I think we took some poor shots and really didn't execute the offense,' said UCA head coach Russ Pennell. "That was the thing that discouraged me the most. Every time out, we just kept talking about letting the offense dictate where the shots were going to be taken. Then I think when we kind of started losing the lead, every guy individually tried his own thing.

    "I don't think it was selfish, I just think it was immaturity. Kind of like 'I'm going to try to get us back in this thing.' And it doesn't work that way.'

    The Bears got 15 points from freshman guard Jordan Howard in the opening 20 minutes and led by as much as 10 points with 4:30 left in the first half. Coastal Carolina scored 11 of the final 13 points of the half to pull within one at the break. The Bears had 8-0 and 10-0 scoring runs in the first half, while the Chanticleers had scoring droughts of 3:45 and 4:25.

    "We are just so young and have so much to learn,' said Pennell. "When we went on that run and we're up 25-15, the team came over and we were celebrating like we won a national championship. And I told them, the emotion of this little run will wear off, and sure enough by half they're back in it.

    "But that's the first time we've been up 10. It's little things, like learning to handle a 10-point lead in the first half. This is unlike anything I've gone through before, and in many ways its exciting. And it can also be discouraging at times. But the big thing is, they learn something every time we play.'

    The second half was a different story as the Chanticleers used scoring runs of 10-0 and 12-0 to put the Bears away. Coastal Carolina's lead reached double figures at the 8:45 mark. UCA was 1 of 10 from three-point range in the second half, following a 1-for-11 second half performance from beyond the arc in Wednesday's game at New Mexico.

    Howard went scoreless in the second half but still led the Bears with 15 points. Junior center Jake Zuilhof added 12 points for the Bears. Coastal Carolina had three players in double figures, led by Warren Gillis with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Badou Diagne added 17 points.

    UCA takes a holiday break before hosting Morehead State on Monday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Farris Center.