UT Arlington (11-15, 7-8 Sun Belt) 77, Arkansas State (15-11, 7-8 Sun Belt) 67
After losing two on the road on the east coast last weekend, the Mavs got a big win tonight, playing with a ton of energy in their first of five consecutive games at home. The game was physical all night, with Arkansas State committing a lot of fouls and turnovers, especially early (9 turnovers in the first 10-12 minutes of the game), and UTA was able to convert 14 Red Wolves turnovers into 25 points.
Arkansas State has some speed and size, and likes to drive to the basket. Coming into tonight’s game, Arkansas State lead the nation in free throws made (472) and free throws attempted (668), but ranked 339th in fewest fouls (519). UTA did a good job of sealing off passing and driving lanes, keeping the Red Wolves out of the paint and forcing them to settle for mid-range jumpers or threes for the first 30:00 of the game.
UTA lead 39-28 at halftime, and held a comfortable 12-15 point lead through most of the second half. Arkansas State was able to trim the lead a bit in the final minutes, with UTA holding on for a 10-point win.
Mavs attacking the basket early 2nd half and Ark. State with 4 fouls in first 2:03
As I said earlier, it was a physical game. In the second half, UTA’s Jordan Phillips was held by an Arkansas State player after a getting a defensive rebound. Phillips did his best to get untangled from the Arkansas State player, but the officials were unhappy with his actions. A couple of technical fouls were issued on both players involved and Phillips was ejected from the game.
Freshman guard Sam Griffin had another great shooting night: 19 points on 7-13 shooting (4-6 from outside). Radshad Davis scored 15 on 7-9 shooting (1-2 from outside), Jordan Phillips scored 10, Brian Warren scored 15 on 5-9 shooting (1-2 from outside).
Tonight’s game stats:
UTA was 7-15 from outside (46.7%).
UTA scored 30 points in the paint, and 17 second chance points.
Tournament seeding watch:
The top 10 teams compete in the tournament. Saturday, March 7 (at campus sites) Game 1 – No. 9 Seed at No. 8 Seed Game 2 – No. 10 Seed at No. 7 Seed
Little Rock 12-3
Georgia State 10-5
Georgia Southern 10-5
Texas State 9-6
South Alabama 8-7
App State 8-7
Arkansas State 7-8
Coastal Carolina 6-9
The Mavs were 17-16 last year (12-6 in conference play) and lost to Georgia State in the Sun Belt Conference tournament final.
The Mavs play Little Rock at College Park Center on Saturday.