Nov. 28, 2015
By Michael Eldridge | @DFWSportsMike
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington approached all-time records in its 96-30 win over Missouri Valley College on Saturday at College Park Center.
The Lady Mavericks (2-3) ended a two-game skid by having its best scoring effort since the 2008 season when they scored 97 against Sam Houston State - the breakout was just seven shy of their all-time record. Not to be outdone, the defensive side helped turn MVC over 27 times. The Vikings were able to avoid becoming the fewest points UTA had allowed in a game, scoring nine in the final two minutes to avoid the all-time low of 22.
UTA jumped out to an early lead and left little doubt heading into the break. UTA shot 50.0 percent overall, including a 43.8-percent performance in the first half. The Lady Mavs ended their four-game homestand 2-2.
UTA turned the Vikings over 17 times in the first half to build up a 28-point advantage. Cierra Johnson and Kamy Cole each reached double figures early, knocking down three of UTA's five 3-pointers in the half. The Lady Mavs played a near perfect second quarter on defense, helping UTA to a 20-3 advantage in the second.
The run continued into the third as the offense came alive. The Lady Mavs outscored the Vikings 33-9 in the quarter as UTA shot 70.6 percent. The 33 points were UTA's best for a quarter this season.
UTA made a 20-1 start to the second quarter to improve on its double-digit lead from the first. UTA picked up six steals during the run and knocked down three 3-pointers.
The Lady Mavs turned the ball over just eight times, a new season best. UTA outscored the Vikings 40-9 in the paint, 42-2 off turnovers and 52-16 in bench points. UTA had five in double figures – Cierra Johnson (18), Kamy Cole (15), Rebekah VanDijk (14), Lauren Billie (11), Breck Clark (10)
LaShanda Green picked up a career-high five steals, breaking her four picked up against Troy last season. Johnson finished just two points shy of her career-high with her 18-point game. Johnson had 20 against Appalachian State to end the 2014-15 season. UTA improved to 2-0 all-time against MVC.
UT Arlington begins a stretch of playing four of its final five nonconference games on the road when it travels to former Southland foe SFA. The teams are meeting for the first time since 2012. SFA leads the all-time series 48-15 and have won three of the last four matchups.
UTA associate head coach Kristin Cole's opening statement:
"It is very encouraging. We have had some low-scoring nights, so it was good to get some players some minutes and some scoring from them so it was good for our team."
Cole on the team's momentum heading into the week ahead:
"I know we came away with a loss Tuesday, we built momentum for tonight's game. Put that with tonight, some kids are feeling confident and we are getting confident as a team. "
Cole on the play of the bench:
"We have a lot of depth and lot of people that can give us minutes. Every time they come on the floor and produce it gives them the confidence they need and I expect them to start gaining that confidence more."
Rebekah VanDijk on the team's performance and taking it on the road:
"We really needed one of those. It was a confidence booster and it was nice to put up 96 points. If we can keep this confidence and intensity we can take that anywhere on the road with us."
VanDijk on the defensive effort:
"It feels really good. It is really good to keep a team at 30 points, it was one of our goals to keep them low and we did really well."