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Southland Roundup: Central Arkansas’s Jordan Howard is really good

And he almost led UCA to an upset at Pauley Pavilion

NCAA Basketball: Central Arkansas at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was a rough week in the Southland, but that wasn’t totally unexpected. The conference won the games it was supposed to, but also lost all the games it was supposed. The equated to a singular victory against a Division I school this week.

Best Win: Lamar 66 Coastal Carolina 60

This was the only win against a Division I team this week for the Southland, and it was not easy. The first half was particularly rough — Lamar trailed the whole way and went into the locker room down seven. In the second half, they chipped away at Coastal Carolina’s lead but it was never easy. The Cardinals’ best player, Colton Weisbrod, went 0-5 with six points and six rebounds, and Nick Garth went 1-12 for six points. James Harrison stepped up off the bench, playing only 19 minutes but scoring 17 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and 5-5 from three. Lamar took its first lead with four minutes left in the second half and clinched the game with a Joey Frenchwood jumper to go up by four with 13 seconds left.

Worst Loss: SMU 81 Northwestern State 35

This was simply a horrid game to watch. Northwestern State scored an abysmal eight points in the first half. Eight points in 20 minutes. Northwestern State went a span of 17 minutes and four seconds without a made field goal, their only points being two free throws. The second half was only marginally better. Most of their points came in the last three minutes of the game, when the only question was whether Northwestern State would have more points than SMU had assisted field goals.

Best Loss: No. 23 UCLA 106 Central Arkansas 101 (OT)

This game was written off by a lot of people as a cupcake game, but UCA had dreams of brutality. UCLA went up early, 34-17 with eight minutes left in the first half, but UCA rallied quickly and went on a 17-4 run, going into the locker room down by just two. In the second half, Central Arkansas trailed almost the whole time, but every time UCLA would get a big play and try to pull away, Central Arkansas would hit a big shot to stay in it. Jordan Howard hit a three with 3.2 seconds left to take a one-point lead, but UCLA drew a foul on a questionable call and made a free throw to send it to overtime. Jordan Howard led off overtime with a four-point play.

UCLA came storming back though, with a 7-0 run and held onto that lead.

Top Performance: Jordan Howard against UCLA

Stats: 35 points, 8-15 from 3PT, four rebounds, five assists

This was the best performance of the week without even accounting for the opponent. Jordan stepped up to the challenge, especially down the stretch. Here’s a DEEP three to cut UCLA’s lead to two with four minutes left.

Then a floater through two tall defenders.

And then near the end of regulation, to take the lead (with what should’ve been the game-winning shot).

Other Notable Scores:

Stephen F. Austin 91 LeTourneau 68
Texas A&M Corpus Christi 75 Texas Rio Grande Valley 82 OT
Southeastern Louisiana 75 UL Monroe 86

Upcoming Games:

(all times Eastern)

McNeese at San Diego State, Fri., 10:30 p.m.
Houston Baptist at Belmont, Sat., 4:30 p.m.
Sam Houston at Idaho, Sat., 10 p.m.
Alcorn State at Central Arkansas, Sun., 2 p.m.
SE Louisiana at Valparaiso, Sun. 4 p.m.
Nicholls at Western Kentucky, Sun., 6 p.m.