MAVS DEFENSE RISES TO THE OCCASION
March 1, 2006
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Terra Wallace scored 21 points to lead Texas-Arlington to a 61-44 Southland Conference women's basketball victory over Sam Houston State Wednesday at Johnson Coliseum.
The victory keeps UTA (19-7, SLC 13-2) in a tie for first place in the SLC race with Stephen F. Austin A UTA win at McNeese State Friday night will clinch a share of the SLC regular season crown for the second consecutive year for the Mavericks and will clinch the top-seed in next week's O'Reilly Auto Parts/Southland Conference Tournament.
During the first half, the game was tied twice and the lead changed hands six times before the Mavericks took a narrow 31-27 at intermission. But UTA took over the second half with stout defense allowing the Bearkats just three field goals and 17 points in the final 20 minutes.
"We allowed 27 points in the first half and that's not like us," said UTA Head Coach Donna Capps. "Everybody stepped up defensively (in the second half). Sam Houston was initating contact and dribbling out of control in the first half. We were a little baffled and it was difficult to adjust the way the game was being called (in the first half). At halftime we settled down and focused on what we were doing defensively."
UTA outscored SHSU 11-1 in the first nine minutes of the second half to lead 42-28 after a Melanie Lane layup with 10:07 to play. The Mavericks never led by less than 12 points the rest of the night enroute to their 14th win in the last 16 games.
Sam Houston State (9-17, SLC 4-11) was led by Ratysha Alexander with 14 points and Britney Harris with 10.
NOTE: Tickets for the opening round of the 2006 O'Reilly Auto Parts/Southland Conference Tournament will go on sale Monday at 5:30 p.m. Reserved seast are $10 and general admission is $7. All UTA students are free of charge with valid student identification. No Maverick Club Card or other free passes will be accepted for the tournament.