MAVS DROP HEARTBREAKER, 71-62
Feb. 25, 2006
HAMMOND, La. - The margin for error just got tighter for the UT-Arlington men's basketball team.
UTA watched a nine-point second half lead slip away as Southeastern Louisiana rallied to defeat the Mavericks 71-62 in a Southland Conference contest at the University Center Saturday night.
The loss put UTA (13-14, 6-8) in an almost must-win situation next week against Sam Houston State on Wednesday and McNeese State in the regular-season finale Friday in order to gain a berth in next week's O'Reilly Auto Parts Southland Conference Tournament. Southeastern Louisiana (14-11, 8-6) won for the third straight game and six of their past seven.
UTA scored just three field goals in the final 12:00 of the game as Southeastern Louisiana went on a 12-0 run midway through the second half to erase a 46-37 Maverick lead. A 3-pointer by Chris Lee gave SLU the lead for good, 49-46, with 8:43 to play in the game.
Thomas scored the Mavs' first 11 points of the game. He put back a Jermaine Griffin miss with 13:49 to play in the half for an 11-6 UTA lead.
Jarrett Howell took the controls from there, scoring seven of the next nine UTA points. A pair of free throws with 10:58 to play in the half gave UTA a 20-10 lead.
The Mavericks led by as many as 11 in the half, a Brandon Long jumper gave UTA a 22-11 lead with 10:06 to play.
SLU went on a 15-2 run to get back into the game. A 3-pointer by Daryl Cohen gave the Lions there first lead of the game, 26-24, with 3:06 remaining.
Howell canned a 3-pointer with six seconds left in the half to end a 10-2 run and give the Mavs a 34-28 lead into the locker room. Howell canned a 3-pointer with six seconds left in the half.
GAME NOTES: Thomas moved closer to second place on the all-time scoring at UTA. After Saturday's 21 points, he needs 21 points to tie Paul Renfro on the career scoring with 1,380 points... After Saturday's SLC games, UTA sits in eighth place in the league standings with a 6-8 mark, a half-game ahead of Louisiana-Monroe.