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ARLINGTON, Texas - A season-long three-game homestand closes on Saturday with the highly anticipated in-state rivalry with Texas State at 2 p.m., presented by TD Ameritrade.
The Lady Mavericks (13-10, 7-5 Sun Belt) are in a four-way tie for the fourth seed in the conference, the top four teams earning a bye in Marchs' Sun Belt Championship Tournament in New Orleans, La. Texas State, one of the hottest teams in the league, is in second with a record of 16-7 and 9-3 in the conference.
Rebekah VanDijk has been a thrown in the Bobcats' side, averaging 18.9 points and 11.6 rebounds in seven meetings. Both stats are highs against Sun Belt foes for the senior. The all-time rebounds record is also in reach for VanDijk as she needs just 16 more boards to break the mark.
HOW TO WATCH/FOLLOW
Thursday's contest is available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN App on the Google and Apple stores with Ron Thulin 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 looks to continue its home dominance this season and move its streak to three games against in-state rival Texas State. UTA and Texas State share a rivalry that spanned the Southland, WAC and now the Sun Belt.
TXST topped UTA 75-69 in the home meeting last season despite 5 Lady Mavs scoring in double figures. VanDijk had a team-high 14, while Allen had 13 with Billie scoring 10. In the meeting in San Marcos, UTA poured it on in a 61-39 win. Despite trailing by 2 after the 1st, a 15-8 2nd, and 18-8 4th lifted UTA as VanDijk scored 30 points on 13-18 shooting. UTA shot 43.1 percent in the win, while TXST was at a 32.6 percent clip.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
UTA trails in the all-time series 38-30 to the Bobcats, but leat at home 15-14. The Bobcats topped UTA in the last meeting in Arlington 75-69. UTA is 10-2 at home.
UTA is in a 4-way tie with Troy, Louisiana and Arkansas State for the 4th-place spot in the league. The top 4 teams in the Sun Belt earn a first-round by in March’s SBC Championship tournament in New Orleans, La. This year’s matchup is the first in the last 3 seasons in which Texas State is the higher ranked team in the standings as the Bobcats are in second.
HEAD COACH Krista Gerlich
Krista Gerlich enters with with a 239-125 career record, while posting a 71-83 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
It was a nail biter, but UTA picked up the 2-point win despite trailing by 4 entering the final minute for the 2nd consecutive game. Shelby Richards posted a career-high 20 points, knocking down 4 from long range. VanDijk scored 11.
UTA led by 6 at half and by just 1 going to the final 10 minutes.UTA is now 10-1 when leading going into the 4th quarter. The win avenged a Dec. 29 loss to the Chants in Conway, S.C. that was the first for the Chants over UTA in the series. App State, who UTA topped the previous game, is the lone team in the league that has not had a win over UTA.
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.