WACO, Texas _ The University of Central Arkansas Bears have faced the Baylor Bears three times before, but never as the reigning NCAA National Champions.

That will happen at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday when the UCA Bears face the ninth-seeded Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center.

“We are very excited to play the national champions,” said UCA head coach Anthony boone. “You don’t have the opportunity to do this very often. “

Baylor (2-0) comes off an 80-60 victory over the Nicholls Colonels in a Monday morning game. The Bears had 33 assists from 37 maes baskets, including 10 from 6-foot-8 goaltender / freshman Kendall Brown.

UCA (0-2) just lost 85-53 to Butler on Friday night in Indianapolis, just three nights and two long trips after their season opener loss in St. Louis on Tuesday.

“We’re going to be resting a bit more between games this time around,” Boone said. “It was tough, but we have no excuses. I told the guys, you are tired but we have to learn to fight through this. We got back Wednesday at 4 am (from Saint Louis ), then we had to get up and leave campus at 5 a.m. the next morning to catch the plane to Butler.

“So the guys were tired, but they fought to the end. I thought the first half, if we weren’t as tired as we were going on this trip, we probably would have played this way for 23 24, 25 minutes instead of just the 20. The guys got better on that and I’m very happy about that. ‘

The UCA led just 38-30 at halftime at Butler, but the Bulldogs then moved away in the second half, shooting 58% from the field and limiting the Bears to just 23 points in the second half. First year care Camren Hunter (Bryant, Ark.) Led the Bears with 14 points, while the juniors Eddy Kayouloud added 10 points off the bench. Hunter scored 4 of 8 from a three-point range.

Butler, the NCAA finalist in 2010 and 2011, was 21 of 30 at the free throw line while UCA was just 4 of 6.

Baylor finished the 2020-21 season 11-0 at home (28-2 overall) at the Ferrell Center, and didn’t lose a game until Feb. 27 on the road to the Kansas Jayhawks. In the NCAA tournament, they beat Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arkansas, Houston and Gonzaga by an average score of 77-61. Baylor ran away from No.1 Gonzaga 86-70 in the league game.

“We have played against Baylor for the past two years and we thought they were the best team in the country every time,” said Boone. tournament. We knew then that they were the best team in the country.

The UCA finally returns home to the Farris Center on Saturday afternoon, hosting Oral Roberts at 3:15 pm on the brand new “Scottie Pippen Court”. ORU lost to Arkansas in the Sweet 16 last season.

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