MBB: Mavs open postseason vs. Oral Roberts in CIT
March 19, 2013
UT Arlington (19-13) vs. Oral Roberts (18-14)
ARLINGTON, Texas - For the first time in program history, UT Arlington is in the postseason for a second consecutive season. The Mavericks also hosts a postseason game on campus for the first time with Oral Roberts' visit.
UT Arlington is coming off a trip to the WAC Tournament championship game, falling to New Mexico State 64-55. The Mavericks went 11-5 over their last 16 games going into the CIT.
UT Arlington is in the postseason for the fourth time in school history and third time under head coach Scott Cross. The Mavericks are 0-3 in the postseason, with two losses in the NIT (2012 and 1981) and one in the NCAA Tournament (2008).
The Mavs are 7-7 at College Park Center this season, going 5-1 in their last six home games. ORU is 8-7 on the road.
Two UTA seniors are coming into the CIT on a roll. Karol Gruszecki and Kevin Butler were named to the All-WAC Tournament team. Gruszecki averaged 15.7 points and shot 10-21 on 3-pointers. Butler averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.
UTA has the third-most wins among Texas' 21 Division I men's basketball programs over the last two seasons. The Mavericks are 43-22, including a 19-13 record going into the CIT. The only teams with better records are Baylor (48-21) and Stephen F. Austin (47-16).
Having accepted a bid into the CIT, the Golden Eagles will participate in a postseason tournament for the third year in a row and the seventh time in the past nine years. In the previous 31 seasons as a Division I program, ORU only went to eight combined postseason tournaments.
ORU has been led by the three-headed monster of Damen Bell-Holter, Warren Niles and Shawn Glover. One of the three has led ORU in scoring in each of the last 15 games, and one of the others has been the second leading scorer in 11 of the last 13 games.