by DeMario Davis
ARLINGTON, Texas — Sometimes you’re hot, and sometimes you’re not. The UT Arlington Men’s Basketball (8-7, 3-3 in WAC) team should have been ice, as they gave the Seattle University Redhawks (5-10, 1-5 in WAC) their first win in conference play, losing 61-44, in front of 1,082 fans in at the College Park Center last night.
Seattle University got off to a hot start, outscoring the Mavericks 12-2 in the first five minutes of the half. Mavericks sophomore forward Greg Gainey was able to respond with a bucket down low, assisted by junior guard Shaquille White-Miller with 12:41 remaining.
The Mavericks continued to to fight in the game, but was not able to withstand the initial burst from Seattle. The Redhawks, lead by senior forward Chad Rasmussen, extended the lead by as many as 20 points, before the Mavericks were finally able to cut the defecit down to 15 points, with 11:42 remaining in the second half.
“We never could get over the hump,” Mavericks head coach Scott Cross said about the start. “We were fighting from behind, we can’t hit shots (inside), we can’t get to the free throw line, we can’t hit shots (outside), we miss the shots close to the basket. That definitely hurt us,” Cross said.
Many Mavericks were just off in this game. Freshman guard Drew Charles missed his first two shots from behind the ark with air balls. Seattle responded each time, with consecutive three pointers, to extend their lead 18-4. Charles finally got on the board, nailing a three pointer, with 3:30 remaining. The Mavericks trailed the Redhawks 28-12 at that point.
Seattle went into halftime, with a 36-20 lead over the Mavs. The Seahawks shot 53.8% percent from the field in the first half. The Mavericks shot only 23.3% percent. Junior guard Karol Gruszecki was 1-9 from the field, he scored three points, and made one of his two attempts at the stripe.
Senior forward Jordan Reeves was 0-5 from the field, but tallied up 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 turnovers, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 4 points (4-5 FT). Sophomore guard Jamel Outler was the only other Maverick not to make a shot from the field (0-7). Outler scored two points, making two of four from the line. Junior Greg Gainey lead all scorers (t-Rasmussen), with 13 points. He also made 3 steals, and grabbed 4 rebounds in the game.
“At home we are just not getting it done, we got to get it done,” Gainey said.
The only positive that Cross took from the game was the turnovers forced. The Mavericks went forced nine steals against the Redhawks. They are currently ranked fourth in the WAC, averaging 8.2 steals per game.
The Redhawks started the second half on fire from behind the arc, and the Mavericks kept the pace – as far as scoring was concerned. The Mavericks were 28.1% percent from the field in the second half, scoring 24 points. The Redhawks shot 61.1% percent from the field, scoring 25 points in the second half.
Senior forward Kevin Butler knows that the team must get better. He knows that it starts with the starting five. “We have to set the tone, we have to play better defense,” Butler said. Butler also talked about the senior leadership, and their ability to help the team – especially at tomorrow’s practice.
“I know its going to be a tough practice, and we’re all going to have to buckle down,” Butler said. The team has practice today, and they will tip off against the Idaho Vandals (6-10, 2-4 in WAC) tomorrow night.
Cross knows that the next 24 are critical, in the mavs avoiding going 0-5 at home.
“Seattle was more physical on both ends of the floor, and we have to figure out why it is, that we are playing on the road better than we are at home, and we have to get if fixed quickly, like tomorrow,” Cross said.
Cross also mentioned that he planned on doing a lot of soul-searching with his staff, for the next 24-hours, about Saturday’s game. Cross was not too fond of the team’s performance on defense.
“We were bad on both ends tonight,” Cross said. “We have to figure it out.”
Tip off for Saturday’s game versus the Vandals will be at 7pm CST. The game will be broadcasted lîve on KKDA 730 AM. Live streaming, and stats will be available via utamavs.com.
For tickets, and more info visit http://www.utamavs.com