UTA (12-9, 7-5) and UTSA (5-18, 1-12) actually played a pretty close game tonight…after only being down 2 at the half despite 7 Roadrunner 3s, the game wasn’t really decided until about 8:00 left when the Mavs went up by 9. Or so we thought. Because a minute and a half later, the Mavs were only up 3…
So maybe it was really decided when the Mavs were up by 9 with about 1:00 left…only to have the Roadrunners make a couple of free throws and an off-balance 3 by Kannon Burrage to cut the lead to 4 with :13 left.
For a team that has won only 5 games this season, UTSA showed signs of being much better than that. And they do have a couple of guys (Burrage, Hale and Thomas) that can really shoot the ball.
Regardless, the Mavs were able to withstand some UTSA runs and come away with a well-deserved win. UTA had 20 turnovers but won the battle of the boards 42-33. Shaquille White-Miller had a great night, hitting a clutch 3 midway through the 2nd half and making several key free throws near the end of the game. Kevin Butler had another good game…17 points on 7-14FG shooting with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The Mavs also did a good job of finding Brandon Edwards and Greg Gainey open near the basket for some easy layups.
One stat that really stands out: UTSA shot 48%FG/46%3pt the first half, but the Maverick defense cooled them off a lot in the second half, only allowing UTSA to shoot 24%FG/24%3pt in the second half (35.2%/33% for the game–much closer to UTA’s defensive averages).
The noise level from the crowd of 2100+ was very reminiscent of last year’s big crowds or the game against OU this year, especially when the Mavs came back to tie the score at 45, and all during the Mavs’ 9-0 run to make it 54-45. I think the CPC is establishing itself as a nice home court and a tough place for visiting teams to play.
Up next: at Idaho (9-14, 5-8) thursday, at Seattle (7-16, 2-11) saturday…then 4 in a row at home. With UTA such a good road team this year and the homestand coming up, UTA might have some momentum going into the WAC tournament.