Mavericks travel to Lubbock, TX for first tournament of season

Nov. 26, 2009

Arlington, Texas -

Basketball Traveler's Classic Get Acrobat Reader

UT Arlington vs. Prairie View A&M at 6 p.m.
November 27-29, 2009, (No Radio, No TV) United Spirit Arena -- Lubbock, Texas

The UT Arlington women's basketball team opens their 11-game road trip in Lubbock, Texas at the Basketball Traveler's Classic. UTA takes on Prairie View A&M on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m.

Probable UTA Starters (based on the last game):

G -- 1 Kiarra Shofner (5-6, Sr., Cedar Hill, Texas)
Finished with her third double-digit performance of the season... recorded 12 points and three assists

G -- 20 Tamara Simmons (5-7, Jr., Arlington, Texas)
Collected 13 points in 28 minutes of action

F -- 14 Meghan Nelson (5-8, Sr., Cedar Hill, Texas)
Despite foul trouble in the first half, Nelson finished with 13 points

F -- 32 Shalyn Martin (5-11, Jr., Arlington, Texas)
Led the Mavericks with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, brought down seven rebounds, dished out four assists in 40 minutes of action

F-- 24 Donna Dike (6-0, Fr., Houston, Texas)
Finished with four points, six rebounds, and four steals

The Facts

Game 1: UT Arlington vs. Prairie View A&M @ 6 p.m.
Game 2: UT Arlington at Texas Tech @ 8 p.m.
Game 3: UT Arlington vs. USF @ 12 p.m.

The Series --
UTA vs. PVAM -
The Mavericks own a 1-0 record over the Panthers... the last meeting was on January 8, 2001 at Texas Hall where UT Arlington recorded a 57-45 win.

UTA vs. Texas Tech -
Texas Tech owns an all-time series record, 2-10 over the Mavs. The last meeting was last season in Lubbock, Texas on Nov. 23 where the Mavericks dropped a 72-57 decision. Senior Erin Dixon led the Mavericks with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

UTA vs. USF -
The Dons lead the all-time series, 1-0 over the Mavs... the last meeting was on Dec. 8, 1988 at the San Francisco Festival... the Dons captured a 63-51 win.

The Panthers (1-1) are coming off a 85-70 win over Cal State Northridge on Nov. 15. PVAM only loss came at Long Beach State (Nov. 13), 68-76.

Gaati Werema leads the Panthers with 24 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Werema is coming off a 25 and 23 point performance at Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge.

Last Time Out -- UTA 72, UMKC 61
UT Arlington captured their second victory of the season against UMKC, 72-61.

Shalyn Martin led the Mavs offensively with a career-high 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, grabbed seven rebounds, four assists in 40 minutes of action.

UTA finished the game shooting 41.5 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 95.7 percent from the charity stripe.

The Mavericks lost the battle in the boards, 34-28 and in assists, 17-11.

Since the graduation of senior Candice Champion, the Mavericks have looked to their freshman foward Donna Dike to step in and so far that's exactly what she has done.

On Tuesday, November 17, Dike brought down a career-high 18 rebounds against University of Houston. Seven of Dike's rebounds were offensive.

Dike leads the Mavericks and the conference with 13.5 rebounds per game.

In two games, junior Tamara Simmons has been a key factor in the Mavericks offense. Simmons has finished both games in double-figures and leads the team with 17.5 points per game.

Simmons finished with 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting against Rice (11/13) and poured in 19 points against Houston (11/17), both at Texas Hall.

Simmons is fourth in scoring and third in assists per game in the conference.

Junior Shalyn Martin continues to be the Mavericks top defensive player as she already has recorded four blocks and eight steals.

Martin posted her first double-double of the season against Rice (11/13) with a 13-point, 13-rebound performance.

Against Houston, Martin finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four blocks and four steals.

Martin is second in both block shots (4) and steals (8) in the Southland Conference.

Martin recorded a career-high 23 points against UMKC (11/24) on 8-of-15 shooting from the field.

The Mavericks received 53 points and three first-place votes in the coaches' poll. The Mavs tallied 55 points and five first-place votes in the SID poll.

Overall UT Arlington was picked second behind Lamar, who finished third in the West Division last season. The Cardinals received 59 points and six first-place votes for the top spot.

Last year's defending champion UTSA earned 50 points and two first-place votes while A&M-Corpus Christi collected 34 points and one first-place vote.

Tamara Simmons was named to the SLC preseason first-team while Shalyn Martin was named to preseason second team.

Simmons finished second on the team with 11.5 points per game and led the squad in assists for the second consecutive season with 124.

Martin, the Mavs top defensive player and leading blocker finished last season with 40 blocks and 44 steals. Martin, a native of Arlington, Texas, was named third-team all-conference and was selected to the SLC Tournament and Bahamas Sunsplash All-Tournament team.

Joining Martin on the second team were UTSA guard Amber Gregg, A&M-Corpus Christi center Elisa Beagle, Lamar transfer Jenna Plumley, and Texas State guard Victoria Davis.

Compared to last season where UTA had a total of eight players on the roster, this season will be different as five newcomers and one redshirt have been added to the squad. Redshirt Veronica Mergerson sat out last season and should provide depth to the forward position. ,p> The newcomer's lineup consists of three guards and two forwards. Guard LaNell Taylor leads the pack with the most experience coming from Seward Junior College where she finished her final season appearing in all 34 games and averaged 9.3 points per game. Sabreena DeNure and Kiara Parker come from well known high school basketball programs and complete the guard position.

A native of Houston, Texas, Donna Dike is one of five forwards that look's to fill the void of former seniors Champion and Dixon. Dike was a first team all-district honoree and finished her final season averaging 15 points and 15 rebounds per game at Westside High School.

Grapevine High School product, Erica Paskell joins Dike at the forward position. Paskell earned first team all-district honors and was named the mustang's most valuable player as a junior.

After the Mavericks meeting with the Panthers, UT Arlington will go back to work tomorrow at 8 p.m. for a match up with Texas Tech.

Following the meeting with Texas Tech on Saturday, UTA will play their final day game of the tournament against San Francisco at noon.




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