Panther’s halftime deficit too much against UALR

Beacon File Photo

Brandon Wise / Asst. Sports Director

Coley scored 24 points, despite shooting 8-for-21 from the field, in a loss against the UALR Trojans

In college basketball, the toughest thing to do is win on the road inside of your own conference.

Whether it is a ruckus crowd or just jet lag, something happens to teams when they hit the road inside of their own conference.

Despite being down 16 points at halftime, the Panthers (17-9, 7-6 SBC) tried to force themselves back into the lead in the second half. However, that furious comeback effort came up five points short as the Panthers lost 63-58 to Arkansas Little Rock (14-12, 9-4 SBC) at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.

Four of the Panthers’ six conference losses have been on the road.

They now sit fourth in the east division of the Sun Belt, still just one game back of South Alabama, who they still have to play on Feb. 25 at the U.S. Century Bank Arena.

After only shooting 31.8 percent in the first half, the Panthers really turned it around and shot 50 percent in the second.

Jerica Coley did all she could for FIU, scoring a game-high 24 points and stealing six passes. But the Panthers could not overcome struggles on the glass, as they were out-rebounded 37-25 by the Trojans.

Three of those Trojans, including the likely Sun Belt freshman of the year, Taylor Gault, scored at least 12 points. As a team, UALR shot 51 percent from the field and 57 percent from three-point range.

The Panthers also picked up another solid performance from junior forward Finda Mansare as she put up 19 points in the losing effort. Despite those 19 points, she only managed to pull down one rebound in 35 minutes of action.

Now, the Panthers prepare to host Troy (2-22, 1-12 SBC) on Feb. 23 before South Alabama to close out their regular season slate here in Miami.

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