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WBB: Huge runs sparks Mavs' first win



Dec. 21, 2013

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ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington rode a 26-0 first-half run to its first victory of the season, as the Mavericks outlasted Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 75-64 Saturday afternoon at College Park Center.

The Mavericks (1-10) closed nonconference play with Krista Gerlich's first victory as UT Arlington coach, and improved to 10-2 all-time against the Islanders. UTA opens Sun Belt Conference action Jan. 2 against Arkansas State at home.

"We have had moments all season like that, but we haven't been able to pull it off and put it together," Gerlich said. "It's just matter of getting over the hump. Now they know what it takes and how it feels."

Senior forward Brianna Walker scored a team-high 23 and pulled down 10 rebounds. Senior guard Laila Suleiman added 16 points and junior guard Chauntandra Williams scored a season-high 14.

The Mavericks found themselves down 10-2 early before finding their offensive rhythm. UT Arlington then turned a 14-3 deficit into a 29-14 lead thanks to 26 consecutive points.

"On defense we came together and said we were going to get stops," Walker said.

Walker and Williams carried the scoring load during the spurt, while the Mavericks clamped down on A&M-CC on the defensive end. The Islanders didn't score for nearly 10 minutes and shot just 27.6 percent (8-29) in the first half.

The Mavericks went into the locker room up 35-24 – their largest halftime lead of the season – behind 13 points from Walker and 11 from Williams. UTA connected on 52.4 percent of its shots (11-21) in the opening half.

The Islanders (6-4) narrowed the gap to 39-34 early in the second half before UTA responded with another surge. The Mavericks were up 52-40 on senior guard Malaika Green's 3-pointer.

UT Arlington held a three-point lead with less than four minutes to play. Walker scored on a post-up move, Green knocked down a big 3-pointer and the Mavericks were able to seal the victory at the foul line.

"We showed composure," Gerlich said. "We didn't get down on ourselves and continue to have negative possessions. We had some people make some really big plays."




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