MBB: Mavs stunned in OT at GSU
Feb. 1, 2014
ATLANTA, Georgia - UT Arlington was just seconds from notching what could have been a season-defining victory. Instead, the Mavericks return home after experiencing their second gut-wrenching loss in three nights.
Georgia State hit a pair of miraculous 3-pointers late in regulation and rallied to beat UT Arlington 101-91 in overtime Saturday night at GSU Sports Arena.
The Mavericks dropped to 9-12 overall and 4-5 in the Sun Belt Conference. UT Arlington seemed to have the win in hand against the league leaders two nights after having second-place Western Kentucky on the ropes.
The Panthers (15-6, 8-0) set a school record with their 12th consecutive victory. GSU guards R.J. Hunter (31 points) and Devonta White (30 points) each hit 3-pointers in the closing seconds to help send the game into overtime.
The Mavericks were up 82-79 with 2.7 seconds left before White's 30-footer with 0.4 on the clock tied the game at 82-82.
"That last possession figures," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "We got the ball out of R.J.'s hands. It was one of those games. I'm proud of our guys. We were so close."
Senior guard Reger Dowell led the Mavericks with 26 points, his 12th game of at least 20 this season. Junior guards Jamel Outler and Lonnie McClanahan each scored 20. The Mavericks hadn't had three 20-point scorers in the same game since 1998.
Senior forward Brandon Edwards had his 10th double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also tied his high school coach Steven Thomas for fifth place on the UTA all-time rebounding list with 737.
Cross debuted his eighth starting lineup by electing to go small. Edwards, the only starter in all 21 games, was joined by four guards: Outler, Dowell, McClanahan and senior Shaquille White-Miller.
The Mavericks were able to push the tempo and spread the floor. The strategy led to good looks, especially from outside, and UTA took advantage.
The Mavericks were red hot from 3-point land in the first half, as Outler and Dowell took turns wearing out the net. Outler opened the scoring with three 3-pointers to give UTA an early 9-4 lead. The Panthers responded with a 7-0 run to regain the lead.
Outler converted a four-point play - a 3-pointer from the corner plus a foul shot - for a 21-15 edge. Dowell knocked down a pair from deep for a 33-21 UTA advantage.
Outler drilled six 3s in the first half and scored 19 points. Dowell (12 points) added four from downtown. They were a combined 10-13 from deep through the opening 20 minutes.
The Panthers closed to gap, pulling within six. Junior forward Anthony Walker gave the Mavericks momentum going into the locker room with a tip in at first-half buzzer that quieted the crowd and gave UTA a 43-35 lead.
McClanahan started the second half strong, attacking the basket to both score and set up teammates. The Mavericks got their lead back into double-digits (55-44) on White-Miller's three-point play with 14:18 left.
UT Arlington went up 16 points (60-44) on Dowell's 3-pointer from straight away. The Panthers got the deficit into single digits (64-57) on White's three-point play with 9:31 left.
Hunter hit a 3-pointer to tie the game 69-69. The Mavericks regained the lead on junior forward Vincent Dillard's two free throws with 4:08 left. After another tie, Hunter knocked down another 3-pointer to give GSU its first lead (74-71) since 2-0.
Cross called timeout with 2:20 remaining. The Mavericks responded with what appeared to be a game-defining stretch. Dowell's driving jumper, a defensive stop and White-Miller's 3-pointer gave UTA a 76-74 lead with 58.4 seconds left.
Hunter attempted a 3-pointer on the ensuing GSU possession. The miss bounced long and was initially rebounded by the Panthers. Dillard snuck in, wrestled the ball away and called timeout from the floor with 39.0 seconds left. The Mavericks bench erupted.
Edwards followed with a dunk off a pass from Dowell for a four-point edge (78-74). The Mavericks were up 82-79 with 2.7 seconds left. White made a 30-foot 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left to send the game into OT.
"I'm proud of the guys," Cross said. "We continued to fight. We just need to keep getting better."
The Mavericks return to College Park Center to face UL-Lafayette to start the second half of Sun Belt play Thursday at 7:30 p.m.