Thibodeaux goes for 18 but Bears hand Privateers first home loss

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Privateers fall to 5-2 in Southland play

NEW ORLEANS – Travin Thibodeaux reached double figures for the 11-consecutive game with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, five rebounds and two steals but the University of Central Arkansas (10-10, 4-3 Southland) shot 50.0 percent from the floor to defeat the University of New Orleans (8-10, 5-2 Southland) 81-57 Wednesday evening at Lakefront Arena.

The conference’s leading scorer Jordan Howard went for a game-high 24 and two others joined in double figures – Mathieu Kamba (23) and Thatch Unruh (12).

The loss was New Orleans’ first home loss of the season (7-1).

Central Arkansas’ hot start put the Privateers on the wrong end of a 22-6 ballgame with 12 minutes remaining and the Bears continued to shoot the ball well, led by the conference’s leading scorer Jordan Howard. Howard posted 14 points and propelled UCA to a 40-23 lead at the half. Central Arkansas shot 50.0 percent from the floor and the Privateers struggled going 8-of-33.

Travin Thibodeaux and Michael Zeno scored six points apiece and Thibs added two assists. Makur Puou pulled down five rebounds and Damion Rosser picked up four boards.

The transition game of UCA is one of the best in the country and the Bears scored 15 fast break points in the period.

The clubs traded points back and forth with the Privateers attempting to rally back from a double-digit deficit but the visiting Bears ended their Louisiana trip 1-1 with the victory over the Privateers.

Michael Zeno finished with nine points and four boards, Ezekiel Charles and Bryson Robinson finished with eight apiece.

UNO was held below 60 points for just the third time this season.

The victory puts Nicholls in sole possession of first on the Southland Conference.

The Privateers conclude their homestand with Incarnate Word Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

Fans are encouraged to follow @UNOPrivateers on Twitter, @UNOPrivateers on Instagram, like /UNOPrivateers on Facebook and subscribe to the PrivateerAthletics YouTube channel.

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