Men's basketball hosts Houston Baptist Monday
Jan. 24, 2010
Arlington, Texas - The UTA men's basketball team plays its final non-conference game of the regular season Monday as they host Houston Baptist.
The Mavericks have the week off from Southland Conference play so hence they will try to stop a two-game losing streak against the Huskies after losing a tough 67-64 decision to Sam Houston State Saturday.
That game dropped the Mavericks to 8-9 overall and 1-4 in the West Division of the conference.
Southland Conference games have had a familiar feel for the Mavericks as they have played good defense but have been unable to put the ball in the basket.
UTA leads the conference in field goal defense at 37.9% but are 11th in shooting at just 39%. The Mavericks have been held to less than 70 points in 4 of the last 5 games as well and the last time that happened was Jan. 6-20, 2007.
Close games have also become a hallmark of UTA basketball. They have lost their four conference games by just 17 points. The Mavericks have played nine games already this season that have been decided by five points or less and are just 3-6 in those games.
"We have been right there so many times, but have just not been able to put all of the pieces together to win some of those games," UTA head coach Scott Cross said. "We had a great comeback against Sam Houston but it was still a loss. We need to try and come out and play well against HBU and get things going back in our favor for the rest of the conference season."
The Mavericks have also been getting off to slow starts, falling behind by double-digits in each of their last two home games.
"The slow starts are something that we need to eliminate," Cross said.
HBU comes into the game 3-14 after losing at SMU Saturday. They are 2-0 in the Great West this season.
The Mavericks won the first game between the teams 80-75 in Houston on Nov. 30. In that game Brandon Long led UTA with 27 points.
Long has struggled lately averaging less that 9 points per game in the last six contests.