MBB: Mavs face Arkansas State in Sun Belt opener
Dec. 31, 2013
UT Arlington (5-7, 0-0) vs. Arkansas State (6-6, 0-0)
THE GAME: UT Arlington opens Sun Belt Conference (SBC) play against Arkansas State after an 11-day break. The Mavericks are two games into a four-game homestand that includes the first three SBC games. UTA concluded nonconference with a 79-75 OT win at home over CSU Bakersfield.
RADIO: The game will be aired on 970 AM with pregame show beginning at 7:10 p.m. with Doug Anderson and Russell Scott on the call on the UTA Mavericks Radio Network.
LIVE: Live streaming and stats are available at UTAMavs.com.
TICKETS: Single game and season tickets can be ordered by visiting utatickets.com or by calling 817-272-9595.
SERIES: Arkansas State leads 36-13, winning the last 11 meetings. The two programs haven't played each other since 1997. UTA's last win in the series was in 1982.
ABOUT A-STATE: The Red Wolves are coming off a 91-66 home win over in-state Southern Arkansas. A-State is 7-4 overall and 3-3 on the road. Senior F Kirk Van Slyke is the leading scorer at 16.8 points per game. A-State was chosen to finish third place in the 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference Coaches Preseason Poll. Senior guards Brandon Reed and Ed Townsel were named to the 2013-14 All Sun Belt Conference Preseason Team. Reed received second-team accolades, while Townsel attained third-team recognition.
LAST TIME OUT: UT Arlington completed its nonconference schedule on a high note with a 79-75 overtime victory over CSU Bakersfield at College Park Center. Senior forward Brandon Edwards and junior guard Lonnie McClanahan came up big down the stretch, as the Mavericks overcame a late deficit to force overtime. Edwards had his seventh double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while McClanahan scored 17 and dished out seven assists.
QUOTABLE: "As the week has progressed since Christmas, we're focused even more and more on defense – just getting our guys the mentality that we can get stops on the defensive end." – Coach Scott Cross.
20-20 VISION: Senior G Reger Dowell is 10th nationally and first in SBC in scoring at 22.3 ppg. Dowell scored career-high 35 (tied for 20th in UTA history) vs. Howard Payne and had at least 20 in the season's first seven games.
MEGATRON: Senior F Brandon Edwards is 17th nationally and second in SBC in rebounding at 9.9 per game. Has six double-doubles and had a streak of four in a row snapped at Texas. Began season 16th on UTA's all-time rebounding list and now up to eighth. Scored career-high 31 points at HBU.
LEAGUE OPENERS: Scott Cross is 3-4 in conference openers. UTA won its first and only WAC opener last season, beating New Mexico State 68-47 at College Park Center.
SKID SNAPPED: UT Arlington snapped a five-game losing streak, the program's longest since losing six straight during the 2010-11 season, with the win over Dallas Baptist.
BIG 12 SCARES: UTA has lost its two games against Big 12 competition on the road by a combined five points – 72-69 at Texas and 91-89 at Oklahoma.
ICEMAGEDDON: UTA's nonconference game against Weber State was canceled due to the winter storm that hit North Texas. The game will not be made up this season.
DYNAMIC DUO: Dowell and Edwards (19.3 ppg) are first and fifth, respectively, in scoring in the Sun Belt.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: At least four Mavs scored double figures in seven games this season: Boise State (4), Samford (5), Howard Payne (4), Robert Morris (5), Texas (4), Oklahoma (4) and CSUB (4).
LINEUP ROULETTE: Cross has used five starting lineups through 12 games. G Reger Dowell and F Brandon Edwards have started all 12. Other starters: G Lonnie McClanahan (10), F Vincent Dillard (8), C Stuart Lagerson (6), G Jamel Outler (4), C/F Jorge Bilbao (2), C Anthony Walker (2), C/F Brandon Williams (2) and G Shaquille White-Miller (2).
RANKINGS: UTA is second in the SBC and 31st nationally in team scoring (81.9 ppg). UTA is first in the SBC and tied for 10th nationally in 3-pointers per game (9.2).