March 2, 2005

The Texas-Arlington Mavericks face a "must-win" situation as they host the Texas State Bobcats in a Southland Conference matchup at Texas Hall. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.

CATCHING THE GAME: The game will be broadcast on UTA Radio, the University's on-line campus radio station. Connect on or Comcast Cable Channel 76 in Arlington. UTA Radio's Bobby Anderson will bring the play-by-play.

THE SERIES Texas State leads the series 24-17 and has a record of 11-8 in games played at Texas Hall. UTA leads the Nicholls State series, 19-15. UTA has won the past four meetings and six of the last seven against the Colonels.

SPECIAL PROMOTIONS: The U.S. Navy and the Dallas Mavericks will bring their caravan to Texas Hall for the men's and women's doubleheader. The US Navy will have tactical vehicle and their "urban suburban" on site. The Dallas Mavericks Dancers will sign autographs at 7 p.m. and the Mavericks' "Mavs Man" will provide halftime entertainment. Radio station ESPN 103.3 FM will be on hand and two pairs of tickets to the Dallas-Memphis game on April 11 will be given away.

The first 100 persons in the door will receive an adjustable UTA ballcap.

ABOUT LAST WEEKEND: UTA faded in the final 3:00 of both road losses last week - a 96-78 setback at Texas-San Antonio Saturday and a 66-58 loss at S.F. Austin on Thursday.

Against UTSA, Steven Thomas led with 17 points and 12 rebounds. He became the 17 th player to score 1,000 career points at UTA. Rodrick Epps scored 15 points, Stephen Floyd had 13 and Brady Dawkins added 10. UTSA was led by Raphael Posey with 23, 21 from Andre Owens, Justin Harbert added 13 and 11 from Ray Selvage.

UTSA made 28 of 36 free throws in the second half as they outscored the Mavs 63-43 in the second half.

UTA gave up the first four points of the second half to give UTSA a 37-35 lead after a jumper by Owens with 19:39 to play in the game. UTA answered with a 12-4 run over the next four minutes for a 47-41 lead after a Jarrett Howell free throw with 15:04 left to play.

UTA went on a 9-0 spurt to take the lead for good. A put back by Owens and six straight field goals from Millsap gave UTSA a 49-47 lead. Fuqua added a free throw with 12:14 to play for a 50-47 edge.

The Roadrunner lead swelled to 15, 70-55, with a 10-0 UTSA run that included back-to-back 3-pointers - one by David President and Posey, two President free throws and two free throws from Harbert.

A put back by Posey followed by a driving layup from Epps gave UTA a 53-47 lead with 3:52 to play. UTA extended the lead to 63-49 after two Howell free throws.

In Nacogdoches, The Mavs cut the lead to two, 59-57, after Thomas made two free throws with 2:04 to play. Clark then scored the final three points of the game for SFA, including two free throws with 52.7 seconds remaining to give the 'Jacks a 62-58 lead. Two free throws by Leonard Brown and a dunk by Paez sealed the win for SFA.

Larry Posey led UTA with 16 points before fouling out with 3:24 to play. Thomas was held to a season-low six points, 12 below his season average. UTA was limited to 30 (15 of 31) field goal attempts in the game and made 24-of-36 free throws.

UTA attempted just 13 field-goal attempts in the first half, but managed to go into the locker room down two points, 28-26, after SFA's Leonard Brown raced the length of the floor for a layup at the buzzer following a Stephen Floyd missed free throw.

The UTA freshman five of Jermaine Griffin, Baron Sauls, Myles Guidry, Larry Posey and Rodrick Epps accounted for 19 of the Mavs 26 first-half points.

YOUNG GUNS Prior to the start of the 2004-05 season, recruiting services proclaimed the UTA Class of 2004 as one of the best in school history. Maybe they were right. The UTA version of the "Fab Five" group of freshmen Larry Posey, Baron Sauls, Rodrick Epps, Jermaine Griffin and Myles Guidry have combined to average 23.3 points, 11.3 rebounds per game. The freshman combined for 36 points in the 63-51 win at Louisiana-Monroe. Against the Indians, Posey led UTA in scoring and rebounding with 15 points and eight boards. Posey became the first true freshman during Eddie McCarter's tenure to score double figures in his college debut with 10 points at TCU. One night later, Griffin recorded his first double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds in a win over UT-Permian Basin. Epps started nine games this season and is the team's top three-point field goal shooter with 43. The school's freshman record for three-pointers in a season is 65 set by Willie Brand in 1987-88.

TEXAS HALL: Make fun on the theatre seating, but there is no denying that Texas Hall has become one of the toughest places to win a basketball game in the Southland Conference. UTA is 19-5 over the last 24 games played at Texas Hall. This season, UTA is 8-4 at home with the only losses coming to New Mexico (64-55), Northwestern State (69-58), Texas-San Antonio (79-72) and Lamar (85-66).

UTA is 283-209 all-time at Texas Hall.

500 CLUB:UTA continues to draw close to the milestone 500 all-time victories in the program's history. UTA is 493-737 all-time since becoming a four-year institution in 1959.

PRODUCTIVITY:It would be no surprise to anyone who has watched UTA played that the most productive player on the squad is junior forward Steven Thomas (photo right). Thomas is averaging 22.8 points and 10.6 rebounds every 40 minutes played. The second most productive, based on the 40 minute average, is freshman guard Baron Sauls at 16.1 points per 40 minutes played.

THOMAS TAKES LEADERSHIP ROLE: Junior Steven Thomas has made his case to be the Southland Conference Player of the Year this season.

Thomas, named the Southland Conference Player of the Week Jan. 15 and again on Jan. 31, is ranked sixth nationally in field-goal percentage and 34th in scoring through games on Feb. 15. He joins Lamar's Alan Daniels as the only two-time winner of the weekly honor.

Thomas is on track to becoming the 14 th player in school history to score 500 points in a single-season. He needs 45 points over the final two regular season games and postseason to reach the plateau. Thomas needs just 19 points to surpass John Reglin (999) to move into 17th place on the career scoring list.

Thomas set the single season mark for free throws made with a 5-for-7 night at Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 19. He now has 152 made free throws this season, eclipsing the old mark of 149 by Eddie Stallings in 1967-68. Thomas needs six rebounds to become the eighth player in UTA history to score 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.

He is on pace to crack the top 10 single season in rebounds, free throws made and free throws attempts this season at UTA.

Thomas has scored in double figures in 22 of 24 games and posted eight double-doubles, including a 24-point, 11-rebound game versus SFA.

Thomas' 16 made free throws against San Diego matches his own personal best and is tied for fifth on the all-time single mark at UTA. Thomas needs seven points to move into the school's top 25 career scoring list. He ranks second on the career free throws made list with 355. The career leader is Paul Renfro (396) who set the record in 1980.

ROAD TO THE TOURNAMENT UTA is 4-9 away from Texas Hall this season. The Mavs are averaging 67.1 points per game on the road while allowing 75.9. The Mavs have only had two seasons where they posted winning marks on the road -- 1990-91 and 1966-67. UTA has been outscored by 71 points in the first half of road games this season.

HOT ROD:Freshman guard Rodrick Epps' strong play over the last half of conference play makes him among the top freshmen in the league this season. The Richardson Lake Highlands High School product is averaging 10.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game since being inserted as a starter at McNeese State on Jan. 15. He leads the team in three-point field goals made (43) this season.

QUICK HITS:Steven Thomas moved into 17th on the career scoring list and now has 1,003 career points... He can surpass Eddie Stalling (1,007) and Danny Wojciak (1,022) into 15th place ont he career scoring list. WIllie Brand (1,907) is the all-time scoring leader at UTA... Thomas can become the eighth player in school history to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career with six rebounds... UTA played in its first overtime game since March 7, 2003 when the Mavericks defeated ULM in double overtime, 85-84... UTA is trying for their third consecutive .500 season for the third time in program history, matching the 1990-93 and the 1979-82 eras... The three point-guard rotation of Jarrett Howell, Brady Dawkins and Rodrick Epps is averaging 25.7 points and 8.8 assists per game. Collectively, the trio has 119 three-pointers and is shooting 40.4 percent (119 of 294) from three-point range.




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