Nov. 15, 2012
By Michael Eldridge
ARLINGTON, Texas- The most anticipated home game in UT Arlington history is just a day away. The Mavericks face the University of Oklahoma Sooners on Friday night at College Park Center. FOX Sports Southwest is broadcasting the game with scheduled tip-off for 7 p.m.
“Ever since last week this is all I’ve thought about,” UTA coach Scott Cross said. “I’ve tried not to think about it before our opening game. But since that time I get excited every time I think about it to have a Big 12 team in our facility. It’s a great opportunity for us and I think our guys are ready.”
The Mavericks are 24-12 in home openers all-time, all of which taking place in UTA’s former home Texas Hall. This is the first home opener for the Mavs at College Park Center and UTA is perfect dating back to last season in its only four games in the new facility. Bringing together the home opener, homecoming and the first ever Big 12 opponent to visit the Mavericks home floor will bring what Cross is hoping to be an electric atmosphere and give UTA a true home court advantage.
“A lot of times when we start pressuring the crowd will get involved,” Cross said. “When that happens it gets our guys so energized and gives us a chance to make a run.”
Senior forward Jordan Reves shared Cross’ sentiment for having a loud crowd behind the Mavericks. He said that having the home crowd is like having the sixth man on the court.
“It’s a big deal to have the crowd behind you,” Reves said. We always put emphasis on protecting our home court. There is plenty of hype going around. This is the first game and against OU its even bigger.”
Reves was a large part of UTA’s victory last week at Cal State Bakersfield adding 13-points that included a layup at the end of the game and a blocked shot to seal the win.
In order for the Mavs to be successful Cross said that playing good transition defense, rebounding and taking care of the basketball are the keys for a good game.
“It’s pretty basic,” Cross said. “But it really is important to the game. They will have a bit of a size advantage, they are great athletes and they get a lot of second chances. They shoot a lot of jump shots so there will be a lot of long rebounds.”
Tickets start at just $9 for the game are still available at UTATickets.com, by calling (817) 272-959 or by stopping by College Park Center Box Office.
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