Dec. 17, 2011
Tulsa, Okla. - No one can say the UT Arlington men's basketball team will back down from a tough, back and forth affair that its game turned into Saturday at Tulsa.
The Mavericks fell 80-75 in overtime in a game in which there were 18 lead changes and the score was tied on 14 other occasions.
UTA had its chance to win the game in regulation when Cameron Catlett made two free throws with 26 seconds remaining to give the Mavericks a 68-64 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Tulsa's Scottie Haralson missed a three-pointer that was picked up by Jordan Clarkson who converted the put-back to cut the Mavs lead in half with 12.8 seconds to go.
After a timeout, Catlett tired to inbound the ball but a five second call was whistled against UTA and the turnover gave the ball back to the Golden Hurricane.
Tulsa inbounded the ball into the backcourt and it was picked up by Eric McClellan who then drove it into the frontcourt for a short jumper to tie the game and send it to overtime.
"Not getting the ball inbounds was a costly turnover at the end of regulation," UTA head coach Scott Cross said. "There were a lot of positives and the guys played hard and we had an opportunity to win the game."
In the extra period the Mavericks led 75-73 with 2:24 to go before Tulsa finished the game with seven consecutive points. Bo Ingram missed a three-pointer with 39 seconds remaining with the Mavericks down by two in what would be their last chance to tie the game.
"This is a tough one," Cross said. "I'm proud of the way we fought every second of the game."
The game was tied at halftime 27 and Tulsa took the early advantage in the second half leading by nine with 13:39 remaining before the Mavericks started to chip into that lead.
UTA went to a zone defense, which seemed to confuse the Tulsa offense and six minutes later, after a 20-12 run, were down 55-54.
"We knew that if we went to our zone it would create some issues for them, and it did," Cross said. "We thought they would miss some shots and they did and that helped us back into the game."
The Mavericks took the lead at 58-57 on a Catlett layup with just over five minutes to play. From that point, the Mavs four-point lead late in regulation was the biggest lead either team enjoyed.
LaMarcus Reed made the most important, and spectactular, play of the final stretch with the Mavericks down by one and less than a minute to play. As the offensive possession started to breakdown, Reed found himself with the ball 25 feet away from the basket on the right wing. He spun, used a screen, and fired a three-pointer that found nothing but the bottom of the basket to give the Mavs another lead.
Tulsa kept in the game, especially in the second half, with their free throw shooting.
After going 5-of-11 in the first half, the Golden Hurricane made 26-of-32 in the second half and overtime. Meanwhile the Mavericks also had their early struggles from the line going 4-of-10 in the first half but rebounded to make 12-of-16 in the second half. However, UTA made only one-of-4 in overtime and finished the game shooting 56.7% from the line at 17-of-30.
"We didn't hit our free throws tonight and it cost us," Cross said.
Tulsa also held a rebounding advantage at 45-30 but each team had eight offensive rebounds and second chance points was a just a small 12-9 advantage for Tulsa.
"We have to do a better job of rebounding," Cross added.
Steven Idlet and Scottie Harlason led Tulsa with 15 points.
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