MBB: Mavs beat Utah State to close out home season
March 2, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - A 17-7 run to start the second half propelled UT Arlington to a 61-46 victory over Utah State before 4,837 fans at College Park Center.
Kevin Butler led the Mavericks with 21 points before the second-largest crowd of the season. UT Arlington improved to 17-10 overall, 11-5 in the Western Athletic Conference and finished 7-7 at home. The Aggies lost both regular-season meetings with UTA, falling to 19-9 and 9-7.
"It was a great all-around performance by our guys," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "The thing I'm most happy is that our four seniors got to go out with the victory. I was most conserned about that and our guys going out and playing with confidence."
The Mavericks were just 5 of 14 from beyond the arc in the first half, but the 3-pointers helped UTA lead 28-22 at the break. Butler knocked down three in the first half, while Jamel Outler and Brandon Edwards each added one.
Butler was one of four seniors to play his final home game at College Park Center. Karol Gruszecki (14 points), Jordan Reves (seven rebounds and two blocks) and Cameron Catlett (nine points and six assists) also closed out their home careers.
"I told them to go out and play as hard as they can," Cross said. "At least if you do that you can look yourself in the mirror regardless of the outcome. You don't want have second guesses. You want to leave it all on the floor and play together as a team."
The Mavericks held Utah State to 30-percent shooting and enjoyed a 15-2 edge in points off turnovers. UT Arlington only turned the ball over six times.
The Mavericks close out the regular season on the road next week with games at Denver and New Mexico State. UT Arlington, winners of its last six WAC games and nine of 11 overall, have clinched at least the fourth seed for the WAC Tournament.