Little Rock takes on Appalachian State in Sun Belt action on Saturday afternoon. The UALR Trojans are 6-2 in the Sun Belt and 12-7 overall, while the Mountaineers sit at 4-4 in the league and 10-9 overall.
Last season, these teams met just one time with Appy State winning 77-73 on the road.
Some issues with the rotationArkansas Little-Rock had won six straight games before falling at Troy (76-71) and to USA (52-43) at home. They bounced back on Thursday with a 71-55 road win over Coastal Carolina. That was a big win for the Trojans, who were led by Jaizec Lottie (17 points, 8 rebs, 7 ass.), Nikola Maric (13pts, 6 rebs.) and Ruot Monyyong (11pts, 15 rebs, 7 blck). Little Rock shot 51% from the field and outrebounded the Chants by five. They also held Coastal Carolina to 32% shooting and 5-of-25 (20%) from beyond the arc.
The Trojans have thrived without two key players in their rotation in Kris Bankston (6-8, 220), who was averaging 9.7ppg and Alsean Evans (6-6, 195), who averaged 5.0 points. Those players were injured in mid-November with Bankston (back) out for the season and Evans (toe) out indefinitely.
KenPom has the Trojans as the 152nd ranked team with at 220th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 102nd in adjusted defensive efficiency. They shoot it well, making 45.8% of their shots and 32.6% from beyond the arc. They also outrebound teams by 5.1 per game thanks to players like Monyyong (10.4rpg). Point guard Marquis Nowell (5-7, 155) leads Little Rock with 17.7 points per game, 2.2 steals and 4.4 assists on 45.9% shooting (40.5% 3pt).
Tough to break a losing streakAppalachian State had lost three straight games coming into their game against Arkansas State at home. The Mountaineers needed a Justin Forrest three-pointer with 12 seconds left in regulation and clutch performance in overtime from Adrian Delph to edge the Red Wolves 83-80. Forest led the Mountaineers with 20 points, but it was Delph who paved the way in overtime with six of his 15 points. That included a layup with 35 seconds left and a blocked shot with 11 seconds to preserve the victory.
The Mountaineers outrebounded Arkansas State by eight and turned the ball over just seven times in 45 minutes.
On the season, Appalachian State averages 68.7 points per game on 42.9% shooting (29.8% 3pt). They allow 66.6 points per game on 40.7% shooting (32% 3pt). They are ranked 192nd on KenPom and 235th in adjusted efficiency offense.
Forrest leads the Mountaineers with 18.5 points per game and 2.7 assists, while Isaac Johnson (6-9, 212) leads in rebounding with 7.9 per contest.
Little Rock is:
- 5-2 ATS last 7 overall.
- 9-2 ATS last 11 after a SU win.
Trends from Covers.com App State is:
- 0-4 ATS last 4 home games.
- 0-6 ATS last 6 overall.