SPECTACULAR SEASON OPENER
Nov. 12, 2007
The UT Arlington Mavericks used a 19-5 run to start the second half and rallied to defeat UC Riverside 79-58 in the season opener Monday night in front of 1,045 at Texas Hall.
UT Arlington (1-0) won their second straight season opener and their seventh straight game at Texas Hall dating back to the 2006-07 season. UC Riverside falls to 0-2 on their Texas trip to Texas Tech and UT Arlington.
Jermaine Griffin led UTA with 16 points and 14 rebounds for his 11th double-double of his career. Brandon Long also poured in 16 points. Rog'er Guignard had 12 and Tommy Moffitt came off the bench to score 10. Larry Cunningham led UCR with 22 points. Severin Gates added 12 off the bench.
"I thought we played well after we made it past the first few minutes," said UT Arlington Head Men's Basketball Coach Scott Cross said after the game. "We were able to provide enough pressure off our defense and to come away with nine steals and force them to shoot below 40 percent is two of our goals for the game.
"Offensively, I thought we converted a lot of easy buckets because of our defense. We gave ourselves a chance with a number of shots in the paint and converted tonight."
UC Riverside, who had 27 turnovers in a 68-56 loss at Texas Tech on Saturday, committed 20 turnovers that resulted in 30 Mavericks points.
UTA shot 56.6 percent from the field because of the easy shots Cross mentioned.
UC Riverside took advantage of the Maverick jitters in the opening minutes, building an 8-0 lead after an Aaron Scott put back with 17:02 to play in the first half. UT Arlington battled back to tie the game at 16-16 with 8:13 left in the half after two free throws by Griffin. UTA took the lead for good with a three-pointer by Rod Epps with 6:52 to play. The Mavs led 34-28 at halftime after a Brandon Long pull-up jumper as time expired.
UT Arlington returns to play Wednesday when they host Texas Southern at 7 p.m. Texas Southern (1-0) defeated defending SLC champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 72-64 in the season opener on Nov. 9.
- utamavs.com -