MBB: Mavs beat Utah State to advance to WAC semis

March 15, 2013

UT Arlington (18-11) vs. UTSA (10-21)
Friday, March 16, 2013 / 10:30 p.m. CT
Las Vegas, Nevada (Orleans Arena)
Radio: 730 AM
Live Stream: WACSports.tv
Live Stats: WACSports.com
Series: UTSA leads 37-

WAC Basketball Tournament Central Link

Final Stats

LAS VEGAS - UT Arlington is on to the Western Athletic Conference semifinals after Thursday night's 83-78 victory over Utah State at Orleans Arena.

The fourth-seeded Mavericks face longtime rival UTSA in Friday's 10:30 p.m. CT semifinal. The Mavericks (18-12) beat the No. 9 Roadrunners (9-21) in both regular-season meetings.

"We know it will be a tough game," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said of UTSA, which knocked off No. 1 seed Louisiana Tech.

Texas State and New Mexico State meet in the 8 p.m. semifinal. The championship game is Saturday at 8 p.m.

"I'm proud of our guys," Cross said. "They found a way to win. It's tough to beat a team three times."

UT Arlington won all three meetings against the Aggies (21-10) this season.

Kevin Butler paced the Mavericks with 23 points, including a steal and breakaway layup that sealed the victory. Karol Gruszecki scored 17, and Jordan Reves and Cameron Catlett had 12 each.

"Our goal today was to play defense and get stops," Butler said.

The Mavericks came out aggressive at both ends of the court, forcing early turnovers from Utah State and converting on the offensive end. UT Arlington was up 10-2 after a three-point play from Gruszecki and 18-6 following a Butler 3-pointer.



The Mavericks nailed 8 of their first 12 shots, including 4 of 6 from deep. UT Arlington took its largest lead of the first half (27-9) when Reves scored off an Aggies' turnover.

The Mavericks took a 40-29 edge into the locker room. Butler had 10 points and Reves added seven. UT Arlington shot 53.3 percent in the first half. Utah State lost the ball nine times in the half, leading to the Mavericks' 17-3 edge in points off turnovers.

Utah State took its first lead (53-52) with a Ben Clifford's 3-pointer. The Mavericks responded with a Brandon Edwards' layup and Gruszecki's 3-pointer to go back up 57-53.

Gruszecki hit several big 3-pointers in the second half, including one from the corner with 1:46 left for a 75-70 lead.

WAC Tournament

March 15 (Friday)
Game 7 - Semifinals

New Mexico State vs. Texas State, 8:00 p.m. CT

Game 8 - Semifinals
UTSA vs. UT Arlington, 10:30 p.m. CT

March 16 (Saturday)
Game 9 - Championship

Semifinal winners, 8:00 p.m. CT


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