MBB: Mavs welcome Denver on Monday
Dec. 30, 2012
UT Arlington (6-3, 1-0) vs. Denver (4-7, 0-1)
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington closes out 2012 and looks to remain perfect in the Western Athletic Conference play Monday afternoon (2 p.m.) against Denver at College Park Center. It’s the second in a stretch of four consecutive games at CPC, with three being conference games.
UT Arlington is 6-3 overall, 1-0 in the WAC and 2-1 at home. The Pioneers (4-7, 0-1) are coming off a 68-60 loss at Louisiana Tech. This is the fifth all-time meeting between the schools and the first in Texas. Denver leads the series 3-1. The teams haven’t met since 2008. UT Arlington’s lone win in the series came in 1976 (99-97 OT) in Denver.
The Mavericks take Boise State on Wednesday before returning to WAC competition Saturday against Louisiana Tech.
"We got three extremely tough teams coming in here Monday, Wednesday and Saturday," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "It's not going to get easy. They are all top 100 teams. We got to get ready to play."
The Mavericks are 26-7 in their last 33 games dating back to last season and 6-1 all-time at CPC. The Mavericks’ three losses this season are to Big 12 teams Oklahoma, Texas and No. 24 Oklahoma State.
UT Arlington is coming off Saturday's convincing 68-47 win over New Mexico State in the WAC opener. Senior forward and UTA leading scorer Kevin Butler racked up 18 points. Freshman guard Drew Charles scored a career-high 12 and junior forward Brandon Edwards pulled down 11 rebounds.
Cross hopes the momentum from Saturday carries through a challenging stretch in the schedule. UT Arlington is in the midst of four games in eight days.
"This week is going to be tough because there is not going to be a whole lot of time to practice and prepare and make adjustments, but after that I feel like we'll be in a rhythm," Cross said. "Hopefully if you can get some momentum then it can be a good thing that you have those games in a row. We'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that is what happens."
UTA is one of the nation’s stingiest defensive units. The Mavs are fourth in the country and first in the WAC in defensive field-goal percentage at 34.5. UTA has held seven of nine opponents to less than 40-percent shooting: CSUB (26.6%), Oklahoma (32.8%), Samford (37.3%), North Texas (31.0%), UTPA (32.7%), HBU (30.9%) and NMSU (33.3%).
UTA-Denver is on KKDA 730 AM in the DFW Metroplex. Russell Scott and Doug Anderson call the action. Gametracker is available via utamavs.com.