WBB: Mavs notch first victory, 77-71, at HBU
Nov. 27, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas – Laila Suleiman scored 19 to lead four Mavericks in double figures as UT Arlington claimed its first victory of the season, 77-71, Tuesday night over Houston Baptist at Sharp Gymnasium.
The Mavericks improved to 1-4 overall and 1-2 on the road. Suleiman, a junior guard, knocked down 7 of 15 shots, including 2 of 4 3-pointers, in scoring a career high. Junior forward Aron Garcia added 16 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Kelsey Wilson, making her first start, scored 14 and Malaika Green had 13 points.
"Laila and Aron played really well," UT Arlington coach Samantha Morrow said. "Malaika shot the ball well and they weren't going to give her much after she scored 28 against Memphis. We had four in double figures and I'm never satisfied defensively, but HBU is an aggressive team.
"We were able to cut our turnovers down to 13, which is something we've talked about a lot. And when they took the lead, we didn't panic. We stayed under control and finished."
UT Arlington led for most of the game and enjoyed as much as an 11-point cushion in the second half, but found itself down 68-66 with less than four minutes left. Junior forward Briana Walker scored a rebound put-back to put the Mavericks back on top 70-68.
Junior forward Aron Garcia nailed a pair of key free throws for a 72-69 edge and, after an HBU stop, Walker scored on another offensive rebound. The Mavericks were able to hold on from there, with Suleiman sealing the win at the line.
The win comes after losses to George Washington, Michigan State, Oral Roberts and Memphis.
"This can build some momentum for us," Morrow said. "We've played some really good teams, and for us to gut this one out is something we can use going forward."
The Mavericks started fast, taking going up 12-8 lead thanks to an 8-0 run. Wilson and Suleiman hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the spurt, with Garcia adding a layup. UT Arlington led for the rest of the first half.
The Mavericks pushed their advantage to 20-11 on a jumper from Green. After a brief cold spell that pulled the Huskies within three points, UT Arlington rode Garcia and Suleiman to a 10-point edge (33-23) with less than four minutes left in the half.
HBU (2-6) finished half with a burst, but the Mavericks took a 39-35 lead into the locker room. Garcia had 12 points and five rebounds at the break. Suleiman had 10 points and two steals. Wilson added nine points. UTA shot 45 percent (18-40) in the half and outrebounded HBU 19-15.
For more information regarding UT Arlington season tickets for the upcoming men's and women's basketball season log onto UTAMavs.com or call 817-272-6319. Men's Season tickets start as low as $66 and include all 14 home games. Women's season tickets are $49 and include all 14 home games.
UTA students don't forget to log onto your MyMav account to purchase your All-Sports Pass for $50 this gives you entry into all home UTA Athletic events. For more information call 817-272-6319.