MAVS BACK ON THE ROAD THIS WEEKEND AT MARSHALL
Dec. 11, 2008
ARLINGTON, Tx. - A LOOK AT THE MAVERICKS UT Arlington gets back on the court tonight after a week off for finals as they play at Marshall...the Mavericks are 4-3 after losing 2 games at the Grizzly Basketball Classic last weekend in Missoula, Mont...the team lost by the identical score - 67-65 - in each game to Denver and then host Montana...those losses dropped the Mavs to 1-3 away from home in 2008-09 and also accounted for their first back-to-back losses of the season.
COVERAGE Tonight's game can been seen and heard by the following outlets...Herd All-Access via CBS College Sports provides a live video stream for a fee which includes a radio broadcast...there is a free radio stream at www.marshall.edu/wmul.
UTA - MARSHALL SERIES Tonight's game is the first meeting between the schools...the Mavericks are 3-26 all-time against teams in Conference USA with the last game coming against Memphis in last year's NCAA Tournament (L 87-63)...later this month, UTA will play at C-USA member Tulsa on Dec. 23.
MAVERICKS HEAD COACH Scott Cross Scott Cross is in his 3rd season as the head coach at UT Arlington...he has a career coaching record of 38-32 (.543)...Cross led the Mavericks to their first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2008 after winning the Southland Conference Tournament...in 2008 he led his team to a school-record 21 victories and his team completed a school record 17-game home winning streak (3 games in `07 and the first 14 of `08)...a 1998 graduate of UT Arlington, Cross was a 2-time Academic All-American at his alma mater where he lettered 3 times from 1995-98.
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD Tonight's game is the 4th of 10 consecutive games away from home for the Mavericks...UTA will play 9 road games and one neutral site game during this stretch which includes games in Missoula, Mt., Huntington, Wv., Waco, Tx. and Orem, Ut. to name a few...their next home game is Jan. 14 vs. Lamar...this is the longest such stretch in program history which is in its 50th season...last year the Mavs were 7-9 away from Texas Hall (4-8 on the road and 3-1 in neutral games) and are 1-3 this season.
MORE ON THE "BIG TRIP" This 10-game stretch away from home will take the Mavericks on a journey that will span 4,428 miles...the trip to Missoula is the longest in this span at 1,319 miles while the shortest is 33 miles to Denton, Texas to play North Texas...UTA also played at Eastern Washington last month which was a 1,476-mile trip.
BIG SKY COUNTRY NOT KIND TO THE MAVS All 3 of the Mavericks losses this season have come in Big Sky country and have come by a combined 7 points - by 3 at Eastern Washignton and by 2 vs. Denver and at Montana...the Mavs have one more trip to that part of the country - Jan. 3 at Utah Valley.
LAST GAME - MONTANA 67, UTA 65 The Mavericks lost a hard-fought 67-65 decision to Montana in the final game of the Grizzly Basketball Classic in Missoula. The game came right down to the wire as down by two, the Mavericks forced a Montana turnover to have a chance to either win or tie the game. UTA had three shots to tie the game but Tommy Moffitt's shot at the buzzer was blocked by Kyle Sharp. The loss overshadowed the performance by the Mavs' Anthony Vereen who tied his career-high with 27 points, including 18 in the first half. Vereen should his versatility by tying a career-high as he made three three-pointers, all of which came in the first half. Vereen and his teammates had to adjust to playing without Brandon Long who strained a muscle in his left leg in pregame warm-ups and was unable to play. Without one of their top scoring threats, the Mavericks had just four players score in the game. Besides Vereen's performance, Marquez Haynes added a career-high 20 and Roge'r Guignard added a season-high tying 16 points. The only other player to score was Jeremy Smith with two points.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Scott Cross "The Montana game was a hard-fought battle. "I'm proud that we were able to come back again and had a chance at the end. Anthony was fantastic in the game. He used his inside and outside game and we tried to get the ball to him as much as possible. Our guys played hard in Brandon's absence. I'm proud of them for doing that. They executed the game plan well, but we still lost a tough one."
VEREEN'S BIG WEEKEND Senior Anthony Vereen had his best back-to-back games of the season in Montana last weekend...he averaged 24.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg in the 2 games...he registered a career-high tying 27 points vs. Montana which included making a career-high tying 3 3-pointers...he made 14 of his 25 field goals (56%) and went 17-21 (80.9%) from the line.
ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS Anthony Vereen and Marquez Haynes were named to the Grizzly Basketball Classic All-Tournament teams last weekend...Vereen's weekend is described above and Haynes averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rpg and 4.0 apg in the tournament...he also scored a career-high20 points in the Montana game.
SHARP SHOOTING VEREEN Anthony Vereen is one of just 2 Southland Conference players to rank in the top 10 in FG percentage (.554, 6th) and FT percentage (.767, T9th)...Lamar's Tristan Worrell is the other at .544 FG% (8th) and .843 FT% (4th).
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN UTA lost by identical scores of 67-65 last weekend...in their 1,334-game history, that was the first time the Mavs have lost consecutive games by the same score...UTA has played consecutive games that ended in the same score (68-66) just one other time in history - lost vs. Stephen F. Austin on 12/10/86 and then won on 12/12/86 vs. Nicholls...in their 50th year of basketball, this is just the 22nd time the team has scored the same number of points in consecutive games...the program has never scored the same amount in 3 consecutive games but did score 66 in 3 of 4 games during the 1966-67 season.
WINS AND LOSSES There are some notable differences in key areas in the Mavericks 4 wins and 3 losses...the opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field and 27.4% from 3-point range in UTA wins but those numbers increase to 52.1% and 37.1% in the Mavs losses...rebounding also tells the story as the Mavs average 40.0 pg in the victories but just 29.7 in the losses...in the wins the Mavs are averaging 86.2 points per game but in the losses that average drops to 66.7 a contest...UTA's 3 lowest scoring outputs have come in the losses - 70, 65, 65.
TEAM NOTES The Mavericks have been held to a season-low 65 points in the last 2 games...these are the only 2 games they have been held under 70 points in `08-'09...last year the Mavs were 5-8 when scoring fewer than 70 points...the 65-point efforts came after averaging 93.5 points in their 2 previous games.
The Mavs have made at least 10 3-pointers in 3 of the last 4 games (only exception was a season-low 5 vs. Denver)...they shot a season-high 58.5% (10-17) at Montana and have shot 44.8% over the last 3 games (26-58)...the team attempted at least 20 3-pointers in 4 of the first 5 games but have attempted 30 in the last 2 contests (13 and 17).
After starting the season shooting less than 70% from the line in the first 2 games, the Mavericks have shot 80% (84-105) in the last 5 games...they have made at least 15 FTs in each games and on the season have MADE more free throws (119) as the opponents have ATTEMPTED (118)...last year the Mavs shot just 65.5 from the line but are shooting 74.3% this season which is the top mark in the Southland.
Rebounds were scarce for the Mavs in Montana as they averaged just 25.5 per game in the 2 contests which is 10 a game below their season's average...UTA had just 14 offensive boards in the 2 games after grabbing at least 10 in each of the first 5 games...before this stretch the Mavs had averaged 44.5 in the 2 previous games...the Mavericks have outrebounded 5 of their 7 opponents.
As with rebounding, assists were hard to come by in Montana...the Mavs recorded just 23 in the 2 games after an average of 18 in the 2 previous games...the team made just 21 and 20 field goals in the 2 games with 11 and 12 assists.
The Mavericks are 2-2 when holding opponents to less than 70 points...last year the team was 17-1 when doing so...the last two games have broke a 12-game winning streak when accomplishing this.
The Mavericks shot 50.7% from the field vs. UT Tyler marking the 2nd time this season they have shot better than 50%...going back to last year, the Mavs have accomplished this in 10 of their last 15 games but not in the last 3. The first 7 games of the season have proven to be close or not close for the Mavericks...UTA defeated Hardin-Simmons by 20, UT Tyler by 32 and HBU by 14 but the other 4 games were decided by 3 points or less...last year UTA was 2-2 in games decided by 3 points or less and 7-1 in games decided 20 or more.
NIFTY 50 The 2008-09 season is the 50th of Mavericks basketball...the first season was 1959-60 and the first coach was Tom Tinker and the team went 6-18 in that season.
FINAL FOUR COMING TO MAVERICKS HOMETOWN
The NCAA announced on Nov. 19 the 2014 Men's Final Four will be played at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington...the stadium, which is about a mile from UTA's campus, opens in 2009 for the Cowboys and will also host the 2010 NBA All-Star game...the Dallas/Ft. Worth area last hosted the Final Four in 1986 at Reunion Arena.