CONWAY, Ark. _ Basketball took a back seat to Friday night’s Veterans Day recognition and celebration at the Farris Center.

The University of Central Arkansas Bears earned an expert 107-56 victory over their city-wide friends the Hendrix Warriors at the Salute to Service Night in conjunction with Little Rock Air Force Base in front of a crowd of 1,527. The teams saluted the veterans and active duty military in attendance and also attended a halftime ceremony where cadets took their oaths to join the United States Air Force and United States Army.

“I thought this would be an incredible opportunity and an incredible experience for our young men,” said UCA head coach Anthony Boone, who has several family members who served in the military. “It was something that Coach (Jeff) Price had been talking about since I hired him because he experienced that at Sinclair College in Ohio.

“And he started working on it as soon as he was hired, targeting Veterans Day. And I hope we can continue here. It was great, I’ve never experienced anything like it and I’m pretty sure I haven’t had our boys either. It was incredible, very emotional and I’m glad we were able to make it happen here and I’m grateful that my boys and I got to see it.”

On the basketball side, the UCA (1-1) clinched their first win of the season by scoring double-digit goals and hitting 14 three-pointers from six different players. UCA also overtook the smaller Warriors (0-2) by a 54-28 lead, including 15 offensive rebounds. The Bears scored 48 points in the suit and picked up 45 points from their bench after playing all 14 players in disguise.

“I thought it was pretty good, especially defensively,” Boone said. “We had a lot of distractions, a lot of near-steals. We forced 17 turnovers, but we also had a lot of near steals. I thought our effort on the glass was pretty good. I thought in parts it wasn’t as good as it could have been, but we can do a little bit better than we did.”

junior guard Masai Olowokere led the Bears with 14 points, while sophomore guard Camren Hunter and freshman guard Carl Daughtery Jr. each had 13 points. junior guard Collin Cooper and senior striker Eddy Kayouloud scored 12 points apiece and second striker Ibbe Klintman finished with 11.

The Bears got the 14 threes from seven different players, led by Cooper, who went 4 of 8. Hunter went 2 of 2 from beyond the arc while Olowokere was 2 of 4. Daughtery, a true freshman from Maumelle, Ark., was 2 of 2 from the arc and 4 of 5 overall, adding six rebounds and two steals.

UCA shot 56.9 percent from field for the game and held Hendrix at just 30.6 percent. The Bears beat the Warriors 50-23 in the first half and 57-33 in the second.

UCA resume their home game against Little Rock Trojans on Monday at 7pm at the Farris Center before a two-game trip to Ireland as part of the ASUN/MAC Challenge. The Bears take on Niagara on November 18 and Rider on November 19.

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