UTA Splits Series at Arkansas State to Stay at .500

OVERALL

UTA splits with Arkansas State, losing the first game on Friday in overtime, and winning the second game on Saturday on an amazing buzzer-beater layup by Shahada Wells.

Game 1 – Friday – uta 75, arkansas state 83 (OT)

After UTA had held the lead for most of the first half, the second half was a game of runs. Down by 13 by with 14 minutes left, Arkansas State went on a 13 to 2 run over about a 4 minute span to get the deficit down to 1. UTA would quickly get the lead back to 8 with about 7 minutes remaining and even lead by as much as 7 with about 4 minutes left, but Arkansas State would outscore UTA 14-7 run to close the game (including a Caleb Fields jumper with 7 seconds left ) and send it into overtime. From there, Arkansas State outscored UTA 15-7 in overtime to win the first game of the series. UTA shot 50% from the floor to lead 35-26 at halftime, but shot just 28% in the second half. UTA was outrebounded 52-36. UTA continues to get stellar play from their guards, with Sam Griffin scoring a career-high 28 (including 4-10 from outside) and Shahada Wells scoring 19. Jordan Phillips had another good game, scoring 13. Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu has become a huge defensive presence for the Mavs, blocking 6 shots and getting 9 rebounds. He also had a highlight-reel alley oop (see below). Arkansas State’s Norchad Omier, a freshman, had a huge game, scoring 15 and getting 20 rebounds. UTA was without David Azore and Lazaro Rojas (who have missed 8 and 7 games due to injury).

Check out Kao’s alley-oop:

Record12OTFinal
UT Arlington8-9, 4-5 Sun Belt3533775
Arkansas State6-8, 3-4 Sun Belt26421583
FG3 PTFTLeading Scorers
UT Arlington38.6%9-24 37.513-15 86.7Griffin 28
Wells 19
Phillips 13
Arkansas State40.38-21 38.1%17-19 89.5%Eaton 18
Omier 15
Farrington 15

Game 2 – Friday – uta 65, arkansas state 64

A thrilling finish to the second game in the series and a much-needed win to stay at .500 in Sun Belt play. After being down by 6 at halftime, UTA went 8-17 from outside in the second half and cut an 8-point Arkansas State lead with 4:57 left down 1 with 10 seconds left. After an Arkansas State missed free throw with 7 seconds left, Shahada Wells went the length of the court for a layup with 1 second left to win the game. UTA committed 17 turnovers but was much better on the glass in this game, outrebounding Arkansas State 37-34. Griffin scored 23 points on 8-17 FG, including 5-9 from outside. Wells scored 21 on 9-16 FG, including 3-6 from outside. Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu had another great game, with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. UTA was without David Azore and Lazaro Rojas (who have missed 9 and 8 games due to injury).

The game-winning shot:

Record12Final
UT Arlington9-9, 5-5 Sun Belt254065
Arkansas State6-9, 3-5 Sun Belt313364
FG3 PTFTLeading Scorers
UT Arlington42.1%9-23 39.1%8-11 72.7%Griffin 23
Wells 21
Arkansas State41.5%5-18 27.8%5-6 83.3%Eaton 14
Omier 14

Next series: 2 games against Louisiana-Monroe Friday and Saturday (Louisiana-Monroe is 2-8 in Sun Belt play, losing both games at Little Rock this weekend).

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