Scottie Pippen Return In Court On Tuesday

Scottie Pippen Return: The University of Central Arkansas Bears will finally return to Scottie Pippen Court on Tuesday night when they host the Little Rock Trojans at 7 p.m. in the “Governor’s I-40 Showdown” sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

It will be just the Bears’ second home game of the season, and second of four home games this semester. UCA is 1-0 on Pippen Court after 70-67 victory over Oral Roberts back on Nov. 20.

The Bears (1-8) and Trojans (5-6) will be meeting for the 52nd time in the rivalry series. Little Rock won last year’s meeting 86-83 at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. The Bears, who led 39-38 at halftime, had five players in double figures, led by DeAndre Jones with 23 points and Rylan Bergersen with 14.

Little Rock had four of its five starters in double figures, led by Markquis Nowell with 19 points. Center Ruot Monyyong added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Ironically, all four of those players are no longer part of their respective teams.

The main difference in a remarkably close statistical game was the Trojans made eight three-pointers and the Bears just five. UCA edged Little Rock in rebounding 37-36. UCA shot 46.4 percent overall to Little Rock’s 45.2. The Bears had 17 turnovers to 15 for the Trojans. UCA scored 40 points in the paint to Little Rock’s 38. Both teams shot 30+ free throws, with UCA going 26 of 35 and Little Rock hitting 22 of 33.

Due to final exams, the Bears last played on Saturday, Dec. 4 when they lost 95-82 at Arkansas State. Junior transfer Darious Hall from Little Rock topped the Bears with a career-high 30 points, along with nine rebounds and three steals. Freshman Vincent Reeves added a career-high 11 points. ASU had four in double figures, including a double-double from Norchad Omier (19 points/13 rebounds).

UCA outscored A-State 47-44 in the second half but could not come all the way back from a 51-35 halftime deficit.

The Trojans, who have battled injuries all season, broke a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a hard-fought 60-51 win over Philander Smith at the Stephens Center. Little Rock played just seven players in that game, and the same in a loss at Top 25 Arkansas on Dec. 4. The Razorbacks rode a 15-point halftime lead and then withstood a second-half rally by the Trojans, who hit 7 of 10 from three-point range after going 1 for 11 in the opening half.

The Bears are also battling recent injuries and could be without a couple of backups on Tuesday, but could also see the season debuts of Masai Olowokere and Lewis McDaniel.

UCA hits the road again on Saturday to take on Missouri State in Springfield, Mo. The maroon Bears beat the Trojans 81-55 last Wednesday in Little Rock.


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