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ARLINGTON, Texas - Senior Day has passed, but the regular season still has one key matchup left in store for the Lady Mavericks on Saturday. The winner of the in-state matchup at 2 p.m. will take the No. 2 seed for next week's tournament in New Orleans.
UTA and Texas State meet in a battle that is arguably the biggest between the teams in years with the Lady Mavericks (18-10, 12-5 SBC) entering with the league's best winning streak at seven games, having won 10-of-11 games. Closing strong, all eyes are focused on New Orleans and this team's opportunity to dance.
The Lady Mavs have already clinched a first-round bye for next week, but a win would earn the program's second consecutive second-place finish, only behind two-time regular season champion Little Rock.
HOW TO WATCH/FOLLOW
Saturday's matchup is featured on TxStateBobcats.com. Fans can also follow along to live stats via TXStateBobcats.com or on the team Twitter by following the account @LadyMavHoops.
UTA is looking to tighten the series vs. its in-state rival as Texas State leads 38-31. The Lady Mavs have won four of the last five in the series.
The Mavs won the February meeting 61-59 in overtime, surviving a 3-point attempt by the Bobcats for the win at the buzzer. VanDijk scored 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Shelby Richards finished with 14 Miranda LeJune had a career-high 13 on 3 treys. UTA shot 41.2 percent in the matchup. UTA outscored TXST 16-10 in the fourth to pull a comeback. In the last matchup in San Marcos, UTA won 61-39. VanDijk finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
UTA closes its regular season on Saturday with an in-state rivalry against Texas State. In maybe the biggest matchup between the squads in years, the winner of Saturday’s meeting will finish at the league’s No. 2 seed, UTA is looking for back-to-back second-place finishes. If TXST were to win, UTA would be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed, having already clinched a bye.
UTA has a league-best 7 game winning streak and have won 10 of 11.
Rebekah VanDijk moved up to 3rd in UTA scoring history with 13 vs. Georgia State, she has 1,647 in her career. VanDijk’s 59.6 field-goal percentage this year would break the single-season record. Her 54.8 in her career is second in program history. She is 19th in the nation this season. VanDijk averages 19.0 ppg and 11.3 rebounds per game against TXST, scoring 20 or more 4 times in 8 meetings.
VanDijk grabbed 8 boards against ULM to surpass Lori Cottingtons all-time UTA rebounding record that stood since 1979. VanDijk put up a huge number against Arkansas State with 18 rebounds to become the first player in UTA history to record 1,000 points and rebounds in a career.
Making it special, VanDijk recorded her 1,000th point in 2017 on the first birthday of her dad’s passing, while her 1,000th rebound was on the day after his birthday. Posting 27 against GSU, VanDijk became the 5th player in UTA history to record 1,500 points.
HEAD COACH Krista Gerlich
Krista Gerlich enters with with a 244-125 career record, while posting a 76-83 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 wasn’t pretty, but UTA held off a charging Georgia State squad 62-57 on Senior Day at College Park Center. UTA shot 39.0 percent and were led by VanDijk with 13 points.
Shelby Richards posted 12, while Aysia Evens scored 11. UTA outscored the Panthers 28-6 in points off the bench and 21-8 in points off turnovers. Georgia State kept things close in the fourth quarter, but free throws down the stretch and a key 3-pointer from Aysia Evans iced the win.
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.
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