Jan. 21, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas -
UT-Arlington rode a second-half hot streak and a big rebounding edge to a 67-52 win over Stephen F. Austin Wednesday at Texas Hall. The Mavericks shot 50 percent from 3-point range after halftime and outrebounded the Lumberjacks, 22-16, in the second frame, in ending a four-game SFA winning streak.
The 15-point margin of defeat is the second-largest of the season for SFA, which falls to 11-5 on the season and 3-1 in Southland Conference play.
Brandon Long scored 13 of his game-high 17 points for UTA (10-7, 3-1) in the second period when he led a 6-for-12 showing from 3-point range. Roge'r Guignard added a pair of triples after halftime and had four for the game to finish with 12 points. Anthony Vereen went 6-of-11 from the field to score 15 points.
Eric Bell hit 5-of-6 from the field and led SFA with a season-high 13 points. Josh Alexander and Nick Shaw added 10 points and eight rebounds apiece, but SFA couldn't match the Mavericks' second-half fire-power. The Lumberjacks shot just 30 percent from the field after halftime and missed their first seven attempts from 3-point range in the second period before Shaw finally canned a three with 50 seconds left. SFA finished with a 37.7-percent effort from the field,
For the game, UTA went 9-of-20 from 3-point range, tying for the highest total from downtown for an SFA opponent this season. The Mavericks' 45-percent effort on 3-pointers is the best percentage the Lumberjacks have allowed since Arkansas hit 50 percent in an SFA loss on Dec. 20.
The Mavericks took their biggest lead of the first half when Guignard knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a 23-17 game with 7:16 to play.
Bell got a steal and fast-break layup to cut it to four, then fed Kingsley for a layup on the next possession to bring SFA to within two at 23-21.
The Mavericks stretched it to six again at the 4:50 mark on a jumper by Marquez Haynes, but a Benson Akpan free throw and a 3-pointer by Nick Shaw made it a 27-25 lead with 2:35 to play. Alexander tied it a minute later with two free throws, and Akpan hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to answer Guignard's 3-pointer and send SFA to the locker room down just one, 30-29.
The Lumberjacks outshot UTA in the first half, hitting 47.8 percent from the floor while holding the Mavericks to 41.9 percent. But SFA gave the Mavs seven points on six turnovers, and UTA pulled down five offensive rebounds to outscore the `Jacks, 4-0, in second-chance points.
UTA came out of the locker room on fire, hitting six of its first nine attempts from 3-point range to open a 58-41 lead with 9:52 to play. After putting up just four points in the first half, Long hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second period, leading the charge for the Mavericks. Once UTA had built a double-figure advantage, the Lumberjacks were never able to work the lead back down below 10.
Akpan came off the bench for seven points and two blocked shots. Kingsley also blocked a pair of shots but went just 3-of-11 from the floor for six points. He had led SFA in scoring in four of the last five contests.
SFA finished with a 28-24 advantage in points in the paint, but UTA outrebounded the Lumberjacks, 40-31, for the game. The Mavericks enjoyed a 10-4 edge on the offensive glass and scored six second-chance points.
SFA will return to action Saturday when the Lumberjacks travel to Hammond, La., to take on Southeastern Louisiana. The game against the Lions is set for a 3 p.m. start.
-- SFA --