Feb. 2, 2013
RUSTON, Louisiana - UT Arlington ran into the buzz saw Saturday night that's sliced through the rest of the Western Athletic Conference. League-leading Louisiana Tech overpowered the Mavericks 64-51 before a raucous crowd at Thomas Assembly Center.
The loss snapped UT Arlington's two-game WAC winning streak, dropping the Mavericks to 10-9 overall and 5-5 in conference. UTA lost for the first time on the road (4-1) in the WAC this season.
The Bulldogs (19-3) remained perfect in league play at 10-0, running their overall unbeaten streak to 11 by sweeping the season series. LA Tech beat the Mavericks 55-52 at College Park Center on Jan. 5.
"They did a great job defensively," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "They got hands on passes and made it tough for us. They got a lot of deflections that ended up being turnovers. They're a great team."
Raheem Appleby led LA Tech with 15 points, with Cordarius Johnson netting 12. The Bulldogs won despite shooting 36.7 percent, the 13th time in 19 games that UTA has held its opponent to less than 40 percent.
The Mavericks were in danger of getting run out of the gym early. LA Tech opened the contest with consecutive 3-pointers for a 6-0 lead. UTA was down 10-2 before Cross called timeout. The Bulldogs didn't relent, as UT Arlington had trouble handling their fullcourt pressure.
Louisiana Tech extended its lead to 23-9 before back-to-back dunks by Edwards. The Mavericks kept coming. A 3-point play by Gainey with 3:40 left in the first half made it 31-24. Another slam by Edwards pulled UT Arlington within five (31-26). Jordan Reves ended the half with a reverse layup, as the Mavericks went into the locker room down 33-28.
UT Arlington shot only 40 percent in the opening half, but outrebounded LA Tech 20-19 and enjoyed a 16-10 edge in points in the paint. Edwards had 10 points and five boards at the break. Appleby scored 13 for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs began to pull away with a 6-0 spurt early in the second half to push their advantage to 43-32. After trading baskets, the Mavericks were down by double digits for the rest of the game.
The Mavs return home next week for a two-game WAC stand against Texas State (Thursday) and UTSA (Saturday). Both games are at College Park Center with tipoff set for 7 p.m. UT Arlington beat both squads last month on the road.
MBB: Hervey named first team NABC all-district
MBB: Mavericks' season ends with title game setback
MBB: Clutch plays lead UTA to Sun Belt semifinal win
MBB: Neal's offensive masterclass paces UTA to victory
MBB: Mavericks prepared for SBC Championships
MBB: Neal found basketball as a path for life