There were no games in Searcy last night because of inclement weather, so the Bisons will host the UAM Boll Weevils tonight. The Arkansas Tech-Henderson State game was also postponed, but the other four teams did play. Since I have some games from Tuesday to review anyway, let’s go over those now.
Tuesday, January 30
Tuesday’s games included a cupcake non-conference game for Arkansas Tech and a tough D-II game for Delta State.
Arkansas Tech got a much-needed confidence boost out of Rhema Bible College, winning 85-68 at home. Terrance Whiters had 20 points, leading the Wonder Boys, but two of his teammates added impressive games as well. Donald McCoy had 19 points and 10 boards, while Brandon Friedel had 17 and 7. There were plenty of rebounds to go around in this fast-paced game (for the GSC, at least). Each team missed 35 shots, and Rhema actually proved to get the better of ATU on the glass. Tech can expect to lose its next seven games, as they return to GSC play tonight.
Delta State had a difficult home matchup against Central State, and they lost, 85-80. Central’s DeAndre Chandler had a lights-out shooting performance, making 11 of his 12 shots, with his only miss coming from three-point range. His 24 points led Central, while DSU’s Turmaine Rice had 25 to lead all scorers. The Statesmen were pretty good offensively, but Central was simply better, with a remarkable 72.0 TS%. Both teams turned the ball over too much, which kept their offensive ratings reasonable at 109.0 (Central) and 100.7 (DSU).
Thursday, February 1
The Statesmen were in action again last night on the road at Ouachita Baptist. The Tigers continued their impressive run through the GSC, winning 92-81 in overtime. This avenged an earlier 80-60 loss to DSU and continued a series of close GSC games. Since the season-opening DSU loss, OBU’s other two losses were by one (UAM) and four (CBU), while each of their wins were close.
Memo Rodriguez continues to come off the bench and score for the Tigers, leading them with 24 points. He actually played 38 minutes, so I have no idea why he doesn’t start the game on the floor. Derrick Woods added 21 points and 8 rebounds, while Jaranimo Marks and Brandon Dawson both managed over 15 points. The Statesmen allowed their opponents to top 70 in TS% for the second game in a row, which is clearly not a recipe for success. Turmaine Rice led the team with 31 points, but that kind of scoring doesn’t matter if you can’t play defense.
Christian Brothers righted their sinking ship yesterday with a win over Southern Arkansas. Kevin Weybright returned to form, which I’m sure was no coincidence with the Bucs’ win. His 25 points and 10 rebounds, along with Reggie Peyton’s efficient 17 points on 9 shots, helped CBU cruise to a 69-49 win. Mori Turpin had 22 for the Muleriders, but as a team, things did not go well for Southern. SAU turned the ball over 20 times (fully one-third of their possessions), so they took 15 fewer shots than the Buccaneers.
Arkansas Tech will host Henderson State tonight, while the Rhodes Rowdies prep for Arkansas-Monticello. I’m sure I’m not the only person hoping from afar that they give Nate Newell a hard time in his triumphant return to Searcy. If you remember last year’s game, Newell was awarded a technical foul for arguing with the refs, and his dad sat him for a good chunk of the second half in a big Weevils win. I’m sure Nate has been entertaining again this year, bringing his brand of soccer-style flops, wide receiver-like push-offs, and incessant whining to a below-average UAM team. He was hard to stomach on a good team, but now he’s probably just funny to watch. The over/under on his number of missed shots tonight is 12.
Ouachita Baptist will host Rhema tomorrow night, but the rest of the division gets Saturday off. So, take the weekend to regroup and gear up for the final stretch.