…And Losing to Teams We Statistically Should Lose To

It’s funny how some games really stand out more than others over the years.

I do recall back in 1990 or 1991 Georgia State came to Texas Hall on a saturday afternoon and the Mavs played some of the best basketball I’ve ever seen…getting out to a 25-8 lead en route to a 110-85 win. It was probably one of most solid performance I’ve ever seen the Mavs play–kinda like the North Texas game a few years ago, the first half of the OU game at College Park Center or the totally solid win vs. a good Utah State team last year.

UTA has not played well at home at times this year and this year’s game against Georgia State was pretty bad. The Mavs have faced some big-time deficits several times this year (being down by 19  in the second half at home against Cleveland State; tied at half but down by 29 at one point against Arkansas State on January 2; down 25 in the first half at home against Louisiana Lafayette)…the Mavs once again gave their fans little to cheer about in the second half against Georgia State thursday night.

With the threes not falling (2-11 first half) and Georgia State shooting pretty well…but the Mavs still leading by 5, I was really thinking we might have a chance to win this one. The Mavs shoot the 3 pretty well, so it’s very possible they could get hot from outside the second half and win by 8-10 points.

But then…

And then…

The biggest lead would be 29. Mavs lose 49-77.

Basketball is a game of runs, but it seemed like a few missed shots by us and a few made shots by them and the game was out of hand pretty quick. Georgia State is a good team. Not a real tall team like LA-Lafayette and doesn’t seem to want to play super up-tempo, but everyone on the floor for them is very skilled at all aspects of the game and can shoot the ball well. They shoot the three well, they also make a lot of mid-range jumpers when open. Their shooting was similar to Boise State last year. Inside, outside, mid-range: 60% of their shots went in during the second half. I really hope they represent the Sun Belt because they are good. Not flashy with any one aspect of their game, but just very solid in all aspects. Their bench seemed to be really deep. Are they 30 points better than us? Probably not. Are they as good as their record? I think so.

Reger Dowell had 18 pts on 8-20 shooting (1-6 outside…a lot of his points came on drives to the basket), McClanahan had 12 points on 6-13 shooting. Jorge Bilbao started, really played hard all night and scored 2 points and got 7 rebounds in 16 minutes. With the way his game is developing at the Division I level, I think he’ll probably starting a lot of games and getting 20-25 minutes a game next season.

Star-Telegram story
The Shorthorn story
Georgia State Athletics
UT Arlington Athletics

What makes basketball fun is a team can lose big one night, then win by 30 the next. So hopefully we win.

So with three games remaining, here are the Sun Belt conference standings as of Saturday morning 3/1/14:

Team Conference Season
Georgia St. 14-1 21-7
Western Kentucky 11-4 19-9
Arkansas St. 9-5 17-9
LA-Lafayette 9-6 18-10
UT Arlington 7-8 12-15
UALR 7-8 12-15
UL Monroe 6-9 9-14
Troy 4-11 9-18
Texas State 4-11 8-20
South Alabama 3-12 9-19

Sun Belt schedule for Saturday March 1:
Georgia State at Texas State
Troy at UL-Monroe
Arkansas State at Arkansas-Little Rock
UTA vs. Western Kentucky

Remaining games for the Mavs:
Western Kentucky Sat. March 1 at College Park Center
at Troy Thurs. March 6, at South Alabama March 8.

I’m taking my wife out to dinner tonight for her birthday and can’t make the game. If anyone wants to write a game report, send it to me at rustyhancock@hotmail.com

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