CONWAY, Ark. (UCA) -- Senior Jarvis Garner scored a career-high 38 points and led the University of Central Arkansas Bears to a 1107-82 victory over the Central Baptist Mustangs on Monday afternoon at the Farris Center.
Garner had the hot hand all day, hitting 13 of 17 from the field, including 4 of 7 from three-point range, and was 8 of 8 at the free-throw line. He scored 12 consecutive points midway through the first half to help the Bears (5-5) overcome a sluggish start and take command of the game. Garner added a game-high11 rebounds.
"Jarvis caught fire there in the second half and was knocking down some shots,' said UCA head coach Corliss Williamson. "It was good for our starters and the guys who play the majority of the minutes to get an opportunity to get going today and get a feel for the game since they've been off for awhile.'
The Bears trailed their cross-town opponent by as much as nine points in the first half before Garner ignited a 19-6 UCA run with a dunk at the 7:22 mark. The Bears then cruised to a 56-48 halftime lead before blowing the game open in the second half by outscoring the Mustangs 51-34.
UCA, with five players in double figures, got 14 off the bench from senior center Anthony Borden in just his second game of the season after missing the first semester. Junior DeShone McClure added 11 points, while junior forward Jordan Harks and senior guard Robert Crawford added 10 points apiece.
"We were pretty sluggish to start the game, and I was a little surprised because the last few days our practices have been very intense and the guys have brought a lot of energy,' said Williamson. "But we just couldn't get it going early in the game.
"We gave Central Baptist a lot of confidence early. They hit shots and they played well. The one thing you worry about when you play an opponent that's a division or two below you, you worry about your guys coming out and being focused, taking it seriously.
"And you also worry about the other team. That's their opportunity, like when we play an SEC team. We were jacked up for that. So you know they are going to have high emotions against us.'
Senior guard Blake Haney hit 5 of 9 three-point attempts and scored 21 points for CBC, while sophomore Spencer Caraway was 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and led the Mustangs with 23 points.
The Bears shot 53.9 percent overall for the game, forced 20 turnovers and outrebounded the Mustangs 49-39. UCA also made 10 three-pointers for the fourth time this season.
UCA opens Southland Conference play on the road later this week. The Bears play at Nicholls State on Thursday night and at Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday afternoon.