Mavs Defeat Little Rock, Take Sole Possession of 1st

award_ribbon_blue_1st_tThe Mavs continue to defend their home court, remaining undefeated at College Park Center this season and have been rewarded with sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt, now with a record of 19-6 and 9-3 league play.

How’d we get here? The 3-0 homestand started a week ago saturday on 2/4 in front a big afternoon crowd of 3483 (lower bowl mostly full, folks sitting in the upper level too). They were treated to an entertaining game against a much improved Texas State team that resulted in a 76-61 victory. Continue reading

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UT Arlington Mavs Earn NCAA-Leading 5th Road Win at Bradley

UTA 56, Bradley 51
In Peoria, Illinois last night it was cold outside (in the 20s with a chance for wintry mix), and the shooting was similarly cold inside. I’m sure noone has used that cliche to describe a basketball game, ever. 

But the UT Arlington Mavs, coming off the big win at then-#12 St. Mary’s after defeating Texas and North Texas, were victorious in a game in which both defenses played well, and a result both teams shot 33%FG with neither team seeming to find much offensive rhythm. It was their 8th win in a row and their NCAA-leading 5th road win.

UTA started out well, opening the game with a couple of Erick Neal threes to help build a 15-2 lead just seven minutes into the game and looking like this was going to be a relatively Continue reading

Mavs Play Solid Defense for 40:00 to Defeat #12 St. Mary’s by 14

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Perhaps building on momentum from convincing wins over Texas and North Texas last week, the Mavs used a solid 40:00 of swarming, collapsing defense and precise execution of Coach Scott Cross’ unguardable pinball-style offensive attack to defeat #12 St. Mary’s 65-51.

It was their seventh win in a row, and their first win over a ranked team in the school’s history and adds to the argument that even if UTA doesn’t win the conference tournament, at least so far this season they’ve proven themselves worthy of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Mavs (8-3) used a 18-3 run in first half to establish a big lead that was 13 at halftime (36-23). UTA got off to another great start for the second half (similar to UT and North Texas games) to add to the lead, up as much as 20 at 11:30 in the second half but the Gaels (7-1 with wins over Stanford and Nevada) would make a run of their own to get as close as 11 but the game never really seemed in doubt in the final 5:00 or so.

This might have been UTA’s best defensive performance in recent memory. The Mavs forced 15 turnovers, leading to 23 points. Despite good ball movement by St. Mary’s, every pass was contested. Most drives to the paint quickly defended by 2 or 3 Mavs. Threes were contested. The Mavs had more rebounds (36-30) and steals (10-4). And this effort was continuous for a full 40 minutes. And any time the Gaels made a couple of baskets and the momentum was about to change, the Mavs had an answer with a three or a quick basket or two of their own and never really let the crowd become a factor. The Gaels were held to just 31% shooting, and 8-27 from outside (30%).

On the other end of the floor, the offense was executed to near perfection, seeming to be a step ahead of the Gael defense most of the night. The Gaels have a tall, athletic team but as we’ve seen many times, UTA used crisp passing to find those better-than-good scoring opportunities for higher-percentage shots. And the 10 steals/15 turnovers lead to easy baskets as well. The Mavs had a great shooting night, going 25-51 for 49%. They also outrebounded 36-30. Kevin Hervey had 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting with a three pointer and four free throws and got 7 rebounds; Erick Neal had 13 points and 8 assists; Kaelon Wilson had 10 points on 4-5 shooting.

Up next: at Bradley (4-5) next friday

Game story at UTA Athletics

Game story at St. Mary’s Athletics

 

UT Arlington Defeats UT Longhorns. Significant.

UTA (5-3, 1-0 vs. Big 12 in 2016) 72, Texas (3-3) 610

Much will be written about this game. First time beating Texas after several close losses the last few years. Another huge win for Coach Cross. Adding to the momentum and national following the team has gained the last few years. Overcoming a cold-shooting first 8-10 minutes, chipping away at nearly double-digit lead by Texas and building off a 3-point halftime lead. A legendary show of skill by junior forward Kevin Hervey—nearly unstoppable and showing off his immense skills as he backed down Texas defenders with NBA-like post moves and seemingly scoring at will with his springy, fluid jumper and nearly automatic free throws. The no-look pass from Neal in the corner in the second half to set up an open three.

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UTA Drains 11 3’s to Earn 10th Win in 12 Tries

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The story of the Mavs’ dream season has been well documented in the local and nation media…9 wins in 11 non-conference games thus far, victories against Ohio State, Memphis, UTEP, Rice and the OT defeat in Austin. Blowout wins over North Texas, Bradley, Grambling State. Kevin Hervey and Eric Neal averaging 17 points per game and 13 points per game respectively. A roster that is super-deep. Various rankings this season generally in the top 40 nationally. The Mavs lead the nation in rebounding at 44+ a game. Passing and assists that are becoming almost legendary, like something out of a video game.

– insert record needle scratch effect here –

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Very Entertaining Win! Mavs 82, Arkansas-Little Rock 73

Senior night, very vocal crowd of 2500 on a frigid night with streets still very wet and a little slushy from friday’s snowstorm, and UA-LR had won 5 of their last 6 games…MAVS WIN!!! The Mavs played well in a very uptempo game for both teams. A lot of fun to watch. Mavs are now 16-12 on the season, 10-8 in the Sun Belt with games left on the road vs. Appalachian State (Mavs defeated them 13) and Georgia Southern (Mavs won by 1).

Lonnie McClanahan was unstoppable, scoring 18 points with 12 assists. Erick Neal had another great game with 15 points on 4/4 FG, 1-1 3PT, 6-6 FT with 4 rebounds, 5 assists and only 2 turnovers in 26 minutes (he also scored 21 vs. Arkansas State and 16 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in last two games).

One of the highlights of the night was guard Kaelon Wilson’s steal and posterizing dunk which has been tweeted about quite a bit, including:

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Defeat Snatched from the Jaws of Victory

Concerned PuppyLouisiana-Monroe 76,
UTA 73 (OT)
Going into tuesday night’s game, it looked like a classic basketball matchup: the super-quick guards of UTA vs. a tall and athletic ULM front line. Which would prevail: speed or size?

For the first half, UTA (8-6, 2-2) played nearly perfect defense and drove to the paint at will, finding open gaps around the basket for easy layups. UTA lead by 10 24-14 at one point, and by halftime, ULM (8-5, 2-1) was only shooting 26%, making only 18% of their threes (3-16). A cool Erick Neal underhand layup at the buzzer put the Mavs up 28-20 after 20:00, and it looked like the Mavs were on their way to a big win at home. Continue reading