CONWAY, Ark. – Playing the first rematch of the ASUN schedule, the Sugar Bears head to Jacksonville, Ala., to take on Jacksonville State for the second time this season. Hoping to make up for the last time against the Gamecocks, Central Arkansas will tip off against Jacksonville State at 5:45 pm at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Central Arkansas (6-12, 1-6 ASUN) put forth a tremendous effort this past week, playing a couple of teams that were both in the mix for the top-two spots in the conference in Austin Peay and Lipscomb. The Sugar Bears nearly pulled off the upset of the Bisons on Saturday, but a rough fourth quarter prevented a positive outcome. Randrea Wright was terrific in the game against Lipscomb, scoring a season-high 20 points on 9-for-16 from the field. Kinley Fisher matched a season-best 16 points, hitting three triples, but the Sugar Bears couldn’t find enough in the tank to finish the job.
Sierra Carter also hit double-figures against Lipscomb, scoring 10 points in her second game of the year with double-digit scoring. In her first season as a Sugar Bear after four productive years at West Georgia, Carter reached the 1,000-point mark for her career against Florida Gulf Coast, notching the last 62 in Purple and Gray.
With conference play now seven games in, Wright and Fisher have done the lion’s share of the scoring for Central Arkansas, both averaging double-figures through seven ASUN games. Wright leads the way with 12.4 points per game, while leading the team in field goals, free throws and assists. Fisher, for her part, has led the Sugar Bears in minutes, three-pointers and steals.
Jacksonville State enters the week with an even 9-9 record, posting a 2-5 record through seven ASUN games. After winning the ASUN West last season, the Gamecocks are in the middle of a four-game losing streak, dropping both games of a back-to-back with Kennesaw State last week. Despite 22 points from Masengo Mutanda, the Gamecocks gave up 21 points off of 20 turnovers in a five-point loss to the Owls. After scoring just 10 points through the first five games of the conference schedule, Mutanda scored 37 points in two games against Kennesaw State, snaring nine rebounds in each of those games as well.
Since the start of conference play, Kennedy Gavin has shouldered the scoring load for the Gamecocks, the only player in double-digits for Jacksonville State, scoring 18.1 points per game through seven games. She also leads the way on the glass, pulling in 8.9 boards per game. As for the rest of the roster, four Gamecocks have shot at least 18 three-pointers, with Jacksonville State letting loose on 137 three-point attempts, and eight players have at least five Offensive rebounds.
The Gamecocks and Sugar Bears have already played once this season, last facing off on Jan. 2n.d, the conference opener for both teams. Jacksonville State took that game, with three players in double-figures and a double-double from Gavin, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Tip-off against Jacksonville State is set for 5:45 pm at Pete Mathews Coliseum in Jacksonville, Ala. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, with live stats available here. Fans can also catch all the action on the radio at 91.3 The Bear with Steve Owens on the call.