Coming into its game against Central Arkansas, the UNO Privateers were concerned about guard Maggie Proffitt, the Sugar Bears’ leading scorer.
However, the Privateers got all the could handle in guards Jameka Watkins and Brianna Mullins. When Watkins wasn’t driving to the basket and drawing fouls, Mullins was making 3-pointers.
Their play led Central Arkansas to 59-44 Southland Conference victory on Thursday might at Lakefront Arena.
“We didn’t do a great job of guarding the 3-point line,” said Privateers coach Keyshawn Carter-Davenport, her team falling to 5-10, 2-4. “While we held Proffitt to three points, we let another player do some damage.”
Mullins shot 4-of-8 in scoring 18 points and also had 12 rebounds and five steals. Watkins, the point guard, shot 10-of-10 on free throws, as the Sugar Bears (15-2, 5-1) went 18-of-20.
UNO outscored Central Arkansas 28-14 in the lane. However, the Sugar Bears were 7-of-17 on 3-point attempts compared to the Privateers 0-of-4.
The two guards also came up big defensively after haltime. Mullins had four in the second half — two each in the third and fourth quarters.
“Our coaches told us their guards were getting the ball inside too easily,” Mullins said. “So, we picked their guards up quicker, and I was able to make some steals.
“Coming into the game, coach (Sandra Rushing) told us we need to step up and help out Maggie and (center) Raquel (Logan).”
Central Arkansas took total control in the third quarter by attacking the lane more in taking a 49-34 lead into the fourth quarter. That resulted in Central Arkansas shooting 10 free throws, making nine, as it outscored the Privateers 18-10 in the quarter. UNO shot four free throws, making two.
The Sugar Bears began pulling away less than three minutes into the third when forward Maggie Proffitt sank back-to-back 3-pointers, providing a 38-29 lead. When point guard Jameka Watkins was fouled driving to the basket and made two free throws, the Sugar Bears led 41-31 at the 4:37 mark.
The Privateers trailed by six — 31-25 — at halftime after being outscored by three points in both the first and second quarters.
Central Arkansas ended the first quarter with an 18-15 lead after Mullins sank a corner 3-pointer with four second left. She ended the half with 13 points, the only player in double figures.
UNO trailed 27-25 with 54.4 seconds left in the second quarter. However, Sugar Bears point guard Jameka Watkins drove to the basket twice. She scored 36 seconds left and was fouled with 2.7 seconds remaining and made both free throws.