MBB: Mavs back home to face UL Lafayette
Feb. 5, 2014
UT Arlington (9-12, 4-5 SBC) vs. UL Lafayette (13-9, 4-5 SBC)
THE GAME: UT Arlington returns home to College Park Center to face UL Lafayette on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. to start the second half of the Sun Belt Conference season. The Mavericks are tied for fifth in the Sun Belt at 4-5.
UT Arlington is coming off a pair of narrow losses on the road last week to the top two teams in the conference. The Mavericks were beaten at Western Kentucky (77-72) and Georgia State (101-91 OT) despite holding leads late in the second half of both games.
UTA is 7-3 at home, including 3-2 in conference. The Mavericks lost 90-70 to the Rajin' Cajuns in Lafayette on Jan. 11.
RADIO: The game will be aired on 1630 AM with pregame show beginning 20 minutes before tipoff. Russell Scott and Doug Anderson are calling the action on the UTA Mavericks Radio Network.
LIVE: Live stats and video are available at UTAMavs.com.
TICKETS: Single game and season tickets can be ordered by visiting utatickets.com or by calling 817-272-9595.
SERIES: UTA and UL Lafayette are meeting for 19th time, with the Rajin' Cajuns leading the series 11-7. UL-L beat the Mavericks 90-70 on Jan. 11 in Lafayette.
ABOUT UL-L: Rejuvenated following one of its best defensive performances of the season, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns head to the state of Texas to start the second half of the Sun Belt Conference schedule with a pair of games against SBC newcomers. The Cajuns open the week on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. contest at UT Arlington before heading to San Marcos to face Texas State on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. When Bryant Mbamalu takes the court against UTA on Thursday, it will mark the 100th game in his Ragin' Cajuns career. In his first 99 games, Mbamalu has scored 882 points (8.9 ppg) with 250 rebounds, 101 assists, 67 steals and 81 3-pointers. Mbamalu will be the 40th player in Ragin' Cajuns history to see action in 100 games.
LAST TIME OUT: UT Arlington was just seconds from notching what could have been a season-defining victory. Instead, the Mavericks return home after experiencing their second gut-wrenching loss in three nights. Georgia State hit a pair of miraculous 3-pointers late in regulation and rallied to beat UT Arlington 101-91 in overtime Saturday night at GSU Sports Arena.
BACK IN ATTACK MODE: The Mavericks are 3-2 since senior G Reger Dowell returned from a leg injury. Dowell has led the team in scoring in four of those five games, despite starting just once. Dowell, the leading scorer in the SBC and 12th nationally at 21.3 points per game, has scored in double figures in all 19 of his games and has hit the 20 points 12 times.
1 IN 5: Dowell is one of five players in the country averaging at least 20 points per game who didn't average double figures in his previous season. The others are: Cameron Bairstow (New Mexico), Aaric Murray (Texas Southern), D.J. Balentine (Evansville) and Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington).
MCCLANAHAN STEPPING UP: Junior G Lonnie McClanahan returned to the starting lineup when Dowell went down and has been on an offensive tear since. McClanahan set career highs in successive games, scoring 25 against ULM (1/9) and following that up with 27 at UL Lafayette (1/11). He set a new career best with 28 at WKU (1/30). He's averaged 19.9 points in his last seven games.
MEGATRON: Senior F Brandon Edwards is tied for 27th nationally and third in SBC in rebounding at 9.5 per game. Has 10 double-doubles in 21 games. Edwards began the season 16th on UTA's all-time rebounding list and now tied for fifth with his high school coach Steven Thomas with 737.
DYNAMIC DUO: Dowell (21.1 ppg) and Edwards (16.0 ppg) are first and tied for 11th, respectively, in scoring in the Sun Belt.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: At least four Mavs scored double figures in nine games this season: Boise State (4), Samford (5), Howard Payne (4), Robert Morris (5), Texas (4), Oklahoma (4), CSUB (4), UALR (4) and Georgia State (4).
20-20-20 VISION: Three Mavs scored at least 20 at Georgia State: Dowell (26), McClanahan (20) and junior G Jamel Outler (20). The Mavs hadn't had three score at least 20 in the same game since Jan. 28, 1998 at Sam Houston.
LINEUP ROULETTE: Cross has used eight starting lineups through 21 games. F Brandon Edwards has started all 21. Other starters: G Reger Dowell (15), G Lonnie McClanahan (17), F Vincent Dillard (8), C Stuart Lagerson (6), G Jamel Outler (13), C/F Jorge Bilbao (2), C Anthony Walker (5), C/F Brandon Williams (7) and G Shaquille White-Miller (11).
RANKINGS: UTA is third in SBC in scoring (77.3 ppg). UTA is second in SBC and T17th nationally in 3-pointers per game (8.6). UTA is second in SBC in rebounding (37.6).