LAFAYETTE, La. -- After dropping its last two games in the Cajundome, the UT Arlington men's basketball team will be hoping to reverse its fortunes and claim a vital road victory tomorrow night against Louisiana.
UTA enters the 7 p.m. contest against the league-leading Ragin' Cajuns with a 16-11 overall record and a 7-7 mark in the Sun Belt Conference following an 84-71 setback last night at ULM. The Mavericks will be looking to get back on track to earn a top four finish in the league in order to receive a bye in the first round of next month's Sun Belt Championships in New Orleans.
The veteran Ragin' Cajuns side are 22-4 on the season and, at 12-1, have suffered just one loss in league play - a high-scoring 106-92 defeat last weekend at Georgia State. Louisiana, which is coming off a 73-63 win over Texas State last night, will be looking to maintain its 14-game home court win streak, the 9th longest among Division I programs.
Tickets are available online at RaginCajuns.com or by calling the ULM Box Office at (800) 745-3000 or in person at the Cajundome prior to the game.
Following Saturday's game, the UTA men and women's teams return to College Park Center next week for their last home games of the regular season. The women's team hosts Georgia Southern in front of an expected 6,000 young UTA fans at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the annual Maverick Spirit Kids Day. The men's team hosts Georgia Southern at 7 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH / LISTEN
Saturday's game at Louisiana, like every UTA home game, will be streamed live on ESPN3 and is available via WatchESPN.com and the popular WatchESPN app. Voice of the Mavs Josh Sours will provide an audio description of the game for Dallas-Fort Worth area listeners on KEXB 620 AM and online through TuneIn.com and its popular TuneIn app. Links to live coverage, including in-game statistics, are available by clicking here.
UTA and Louisiana have played just 23 times since the first meeting between the two programs on Jan. 13, 1973. Louisiana owns a 15-8 series lead, but the two teams have split each of the last four meetings. Earlier this season, Louisiana claimed a 77-65 come-from-behind victory in College Park Center.
ABOUT THE MAVS
UTA enters Saturday's game with a 16-11 overall record and a 7-7 mark in league play. The Mavericks are an impressive 11-2 in College Park Center, but have found victories on the road a bit harder to come by. UTA is just 4-9 in true road games, including a 1-6 mark against Sun Belt competition.
Due to recent injuries, head coach Scott Cross has featured a different startaing lineup in five of the last six games. Possible starters Saturday include forwards Nathan Hawkins and Kevin Hervey, center Johnny Hamilton and guards Erick Neal and DJ Bryant. Senior guard Kaelon Wilson returned to action Thursday after suffering in injury on Feb. 1 against Appalachian State.
HEAD COACH SCOTT CROSS
Scott Cross, the winningest coach in program history, enters the ULM game with a 220-159 record in his 12th season as the head coach of the Mavericks. A 1998 graduate of UTA, Cross was a 2-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection as a player before spending seven seasons as a UTA assistant coach under Eddie McCarter. He is a 2-time conference coach of the year and earned NABC District 24 Coast of the Year honors last year.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite an offensive explosion from senior guard Erick Neal, the Mavericks suffered an 84-71 setback Thursday night at ULM. Neal, a Dallas native, shot 13-of-19 from the field and equaled the program record with nine 3-pointers, en route to a game-high 35 points. But, the Mavericks were unable to slow the Warhawks, were outscored 30-20 in the paint and dropped their third straight road game.
Under eighth year head coach Bob Marlin, the Warhawks are an impressive 22-4 on the season and rank fifth in this week's collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 national poll. The Ragin Cajuns have won 11 of their last 12 games and have not lost at home this season..
Senior Bryce Washington is the fourth player in program and Sun Belt history to register more than 1,000 career points and rebounds and is fourth among active Division I players in career rebounds. Last week, junior Marcus Stroman handed out 15 assists at Georgia Sttae,the fifth most in the country this season and the most for a Louisiana player since 1990.
Marlin is in his 25th season as a head coach and owns a 498-274 career record. He served as head coach at Pensacola Junior College before spending 12 seasons as the top man at Sam Houston State. He went 225-131 in Huntsville before taking over the Louisiana program prior to the 2010-11 season.
PURCHASE UTA HOME GAME TICKETS
Single game, group and specially-priced multi-game ticket packages to attend UTA men and women's basketball events are on sale through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online through UTATickets.com. Single game tickets are priced at $8, $12 and $25 per game, depending on seat location. UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 per game. Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.
SPECIAL TICKET PACKAGES
Specially-priced Sun Belt game ticket packages are available for the remainder of the season through the UTA Box Office. The Sun Belt Fun Pack provides a ticket for every league men and women's game for just $45 per seat, while the Sun Belt Saturday Family Four Pack includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four small sodas for just $40 per game. The Sun Belt 3-Point Thursdays provides a ticket, small popcorn and small soda for just $10 per game.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA basketball programs on Twitter at @UTA_MBB and @LadyMavHoops.
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