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Dec. 29, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. - Texas-Arlington will look for its first tournament championship since 1980 when they compete at the USF Holiday Classic in Tampa, Fla. today and tomorrow, Dec. 29.

ABOUT THE WICHITA STATE GAME: Wichita State hit seven of their first eight field goals and raced out to a 16-2 lead en route to a 75-61 victory over Texas-Arlington in front of 9,538 at Charles Koch Arena Dec. 22.

The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Mavericks (4-3). Wichita State, ranked second in the mid-major poll, improves to 8-2.

WSU had five in double figures led by junior forward Jamar Howard and sophomore center Paul Miller with 15 points. Aaron Hogg , Fridge Holman and Randy Burns scored 10 points each.

Sophomore forward Steven Thomas (Fort Worth, Texas) led UTA with 15 points. Senior guard Keith Howell (Arlington, Texas) added 12. Wichita State used seven points from Howard and four from Miller in the first 5:00 of the game to jump out to 16-2 lead. The Mavericks made just 2-of-10 from the field in the first eight minutes as WSU extended the lead to 23-6.

Freshman guard Stephen Floyd (Houston, Texas) drained a 3-pointer, Thomas knocked down a short jumper and Kenneth Henderson (Houston, Texas) converted a steal into a fast break lay up to climax an 11-point run to cut the lead to 23-15 with 9:34 left in the first half.

WSU led 39-23 at halftime after hitting 57.1% (16 of 28) from the field while UTA finished the opening half hitting 32.3% (10 of 31) and 11 turnovers.

UTA's Brady Dawkins (Whitehouse, Texas) canned a 3-pointer with 9:11 to play to cut the lead to 53-37. A 3-pointer by Jarrett Howell cut the lead to 62-50 with 3:40 to go. Fridge Holman canned two free throws to give WSU a 64-50 lead with 3:16 to play in the game but could draw no closer.

SCOUTING THE PRIVATEERS: New Orleans is 4-3 prior to Friday's Dec. 27 game against Loyola (N.O.). The Privateers have lost three o their past four games after winning the first of the season.

UNO averages 67.4 points per game as the guard combo of Kyle Buggs and Johnell Smith average 14.6 and 12.9 points per game, respectively. The Privateers shoot 39.2% from the field, (169 of 431), 31.5% from 3-point range (40 of 127) and 65.3 % (94 of 144) from the foul line. UNO allows 74.3 points per game and have allowed 82.5 points per game over the last four games.

THE SERIES: The USF Holiday Classic will mark the first meeting against New Orleans and possibly South Florida. UTA is 0-4 against South Alabama.

A LOOK AHEAD: UTA will face nationally-ranked Texas Jan. 2 at 7:05 p.m. The game will be televised on FOXSW statewide but is blacked out in Dallas and will be taped delayed on KDFI (Channel 27) at 9:45 p.m.

ON THE AIR: Due to technical difficulty, UTA Radio will be off the air until Jan. 5. YOu can listen to the UTA-UNO game by clicking online to




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