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ARLINGTON, Texas - The Lady Mavericks return to College Park Center to open a season-long three-game homestand on Thursday night against Appalachian State. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game is presented by 101 Center. UTA is hosting a Blue Out against the Mountaineers, with the first 500 students receiving a free blue T-Shirt.
UT Arlington went to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in league play with a tough setback against Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga. last Saturday. UTA is a part of a jumbled group in the Sun Belt standings with six teams within a game of the top four - the top four earn a first-round bye in March's Sun Belt Championship tournament in New Orleans, La.
The stretch of games is also a reach at some history on the home floor. Senior Rebekah VanDijk, averaging 23.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game over the last five games is just 35 rebounds shy of breaking UTA's all-time rebounding record held by Lori Cottington since 1979. The Nazareth, Texas native is also within reach of moving up the all-time scoring charts as she needs 23 to move into fourth in program history. VanDijk also needs just six blocks to move into the top 10 in Sun Belt Conference history.
HOW TO WATCH/FOLLOW
Thursday's contest is available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN App on the Google and Apple stores with Dave Barnett and Robert Gill on the call. Live Stats are available at UTAMavs.com, while fans can follow along to UTA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ladymavhoops.
UTA is perfect against Appalachian State in seven previous meetings, including the Lady Mavs taking a 64-60 win on Dec. 31 earlier in the season. VanDijk averages a team-best 13.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in seven meetings with the Mountaineers. Daiane Machado scored a gaem-high 14 points, including eight in the third in the December meeting. Aysia Evans finished with a season-high 11 points.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
UTA looks to remain perfect against App State, UTA has won all 7 previous meetings, including a 64-60 win in Boone, N.C. on Dec. 31. UTA is 43-44 all-time at CPC and are looking to be .500 since falling in 2 of the first 3 in the 2012 opening. The Lady Mavs are 8-2 at home this season (3-8 road) and are 19-5 on the home court over the last 2 seasons. Rebekah VanDijk is averaging 23.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game over the last 5. She’s posted 4 games with 20 points or more in the stretch.
VanDijk is 35 rebounds away from breaking UTA’s all-time rebounding record. She has 1,043 in her career. She needs 23 points to move into 4th in UTA scoring history, entering with 1,545. She needs 1 block to move into 11th in SBC history and 6 to move into 9th (2 tied), she has 183.
Laurynn McGowen has scored 13.0 ppg over the last 5, scoring 20 on Jan. 25.
HEAD COACH Krista Gerlich
Krista Gerlich enters with with a 237-124 career record, while posting a 69-82 record in her fifth season at UTA. A 1993 graduate of Texas Tech, Gerlich has led a resurgance of the Lady Mavs, bringing the team from just a four-win season in her first year, to reaching the WNIT in 2017. As a player, Gerlich won the 1993 NCAA National Championship with Texas Tech. Prior to UTA, she was a standout coach at West Texas A&M, claiming three conference titles.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite a single-game record performance by Rebekah VanDijk in going 8-for-8 from the field on the way to 20 points, UTA couldn’t hold onto a big lead against Georgia Southern.
The Eagles outscored the Lady Mavs 41-28 in the second half and 22-14 in the fourth quarter to end UTA’s three-game winning streak.
VanDijk finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for her 45th-career double-double and third consecutive. Crystal Allen finished with 18 points, knocking down 4 3-pointers giving her 9 for the 2-game stretch through Georgia.
GS shot at a 51.9 percent clip for a season high, while UTA was at 46.4 percent.
The loss was UTA’s first when leading going to the final 10 minutes, winning the previous 9 entering Saturday.
PURCHASE UTA HOME GAME TICKETS
Single-game tickets to attend UTA men and women's basketball events are on sale through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online through UTATickets.com. Season tickets are available for as low as $99 for all 30 men and women's games, which comes out to $3.30 per game. Single game tickets are priced at $8, $12 and $25 per game, depending on seat location. UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets. Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA basketball programs on Twitter at @UTA_MBB and @LadyMavHoops.