MAVS WIN CONFERENCE OPENER
Jan. 4, 2007
UT Arlington junior center Jermaine Griffin scored 15 points as the Mavericks opened Southland Conference play with a come-from-behind 66-60 win over Central Arkansas Thursday night at Texas Hall.
UT Arlington (5-8, 1-0) won the second time in nine games while Central Arkansas (5-9, 0-1) lost its first SLC game after moving up from Division II to the Division I SLC this season.
Griffin led a balanced attack as Ro'ger Guignard dropped in 13, Anthony Vereen had 11 and Larry Posey added 10. UCA was led in scoring by freshman guard Marcus Pillow who had 14. LeMar Phillips added 13 and Durrell Nevels chipped in 10 for the Bears.
UT Arlington opened the second half on a 17-5 run to overcome a 30-24 halftime deficit and build a 41-35 lead after a 3-pointer from Rodrick Epps with 14:06 to play. UTA never trail the rest of the way but had to withstand several UCA runs that cut the lead to a single possession. A Guignard 3-pointer after a timeout stretched the lead back to 57-51 with 4:56 to play.
The Mavs made just one field goal in the final 6:30 of the game, but canned eight of nine free throws down the stretch to win.
UT Arlington made just three field goals in the first 10:00 of the game as UCA forged a 13-7 lead following a jumper by LeMar Phillips with 9:53 left in the first half. UTA went of a 7-0 run to take the lead, 14-13 after Griffin basket in the paint.
The teams traded baskets until UCA took a 26-19 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Marcus Pillow with 2:26 left in the half. The Bears settled for a 30-24 halftime behind 11 points from Pillow.
UT Arlington continues Southland Conference play Saturday when they host defending conference champion, Northwestern State, at Texas Hall at 4 p.m.
NOTES: UTA won its eighth SLC opener in the last 11 tries... the 30 points scored by UCA in the second half was the fewest points allowed this season by the Mavs... Griffin moved to within three blocked shots for the career lead at UTA with 85.