Jan. 22, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - Southland Conference basketball season is four games old, and Mavericks coach Scott Cross looks at the schedule ahead and shakes his head.
"This game is tough, the next one's tough, on down the line," he said. "You look at how things have gone so far, and it's clear that every team in this league has a chance to win not matter who they play or where the game is. Even though we stumbled on the road, I think our guys understand that a lot better than they did last year. Hopefully that will help us as we get closer and closer to the stretch run."
So far this season, Sam Houston State has two losses. It was receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 before losing. One of those losses was at home.
Stephen F. Austin already has one loss.
Northwestern State started the season in dismal fashion. They rebounded to open the conference season 3-0.
UT Arlington (12-4, 2-2 in the SLC) stands in the middle right now - two wins at home and two losses on the road. For the Mavericks to jump back into the top tier in the conference, they will have to beat an unpredictable team from what has become an unpredictable conference. A victory would give UTA a three-game win streak and keep a 16-game home-court win streak alive.
The Mavericks competition at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night at Texas Hall is a UTSA Roadrunners (8-8, 2-1) team that rides an emotional high after a hard-fought victory against Northwestern State. UTSA played just eight guys in the Saturday night, 81-78 overtime win against the Demons. The eighth guy played just two minutes.
They did it without leading scorer Travis Gabbidon. The Roadrunnerrs victory handed Northwestern State its first conference loss this season.
UTSA also have a victory against Central Arkansas this season.
UTA lost to Central Arkansas on the road.
The Mavericks are coming off a 73-67 victory against Southeastern Louisiana in one of their most balanced games of the season.
"They're a very balanced, athletic team," Cross said of UTSA. "They have a very strong inside game and a couple of guys who can really shoot. If we play hard on defense like we did last time out and give the extra effort for the home fans, we have a good chance. "
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