Free Throws, Outside Shooting Dog Mavs in Loss to Buffalo

UTA 68, Buffalo 74

Home-opener jitters? Just a so-so shooting night? Maybe a little of both?

The Mavs (1-1) started off slow and had a tough time getting the offense flowing. A few missed shots, some turnovers…not unusual for an early season game for any college team.

The Bulls (2-1), who led Kentucky by 5 at halftime Sunday afternoon, have a tall team and some good shooters. Getting hot from outside in the second half, the Bulls made 6-11 from outside in the final 20:00 after making only 2-12 in the first half. With the threes falling for Buffalo, the Mavs couldn’t quite make a sustained run to overcome a 31-35 halftime deficit.

Player intros with new videos and lighting

Player intros with new videos and lighting

A few stats from the box score that stand out:
Free throws: 31 attempts for Buffalo, only 15 attempts for UTA. Buffalo shot 77.4% from the line (including 13-14 in the first half), but UTA only made 7 of their 15 for 46.7%. If the Mavs make 10 more attempts (25 for the game–closer to what Buffalo had) and make even half of those, there’s 5 points right there and the game is a one possession contest and the game is within reach.

With the Mavs having trouble getting inside via drives or passing the ball into the paint for a layup or short jumper, UTA attempted 31 threes, making only 9. An extremely rare tough shooting night for guards Drew Charles (1-6 from outside) and Jamel Outler (0-6)…just one more three from each of them and it’s a one possession contest and the game is within reach.

UTA was outrebounded 44-38, so again…another offensive rebound or putback or two and it’s a one-possession contest and the game is within reach.

Buffalo defending the paint

Buffalo defending the paint

Overall, UTA came up short and lost, but the supportive crowd of 1544 was treated to a few highlight-worthy plays. Anthony Walker had a nice dunk, and Brandon Williams had two blocks and two major back-to-back dunks off rebounds with about 13:00 left in the second half to get UTA back within 5 after being down by 9 a few minutes earlier. Fans also got to see the home debut of Lincoln High School’s Erick Neal, who had a nice shooting night in his first game at College Park Center: 5-12 (5-11 from outside), 3 rebounds, 3 assists and only 1 turnover in 21 minutes on the court. His outside jumper looks quick and effortless, and his court vision/passing is going to create a LOT of good shot opportunities for the offense this year. The Mavs are definitely athletic, and should be ready to contend for a Sun Belt title by the time conference play starts.

Game story at UTAMavs.com:
http://www.utamavs.com/sports/m-baskbl/recaps/111814aac.html

Game story at UBBulls.com:
http://ubbulls.com/sports/mbkb/2014-15/releases/20141118cvsbok

Up next: at Grand Canyon thursday.

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