UTA’s starting five combined to score 84 of UTA’s 91 points Saturday night, but it wasn't enough for the men’s basketball team to overcome top-ranked Georgia State University who remained undefeated in conference after picking up a 101-91 win in overtime.
"I'm proud of the guys," head coach Scott Cross said to www.utamavs.com. "We continued to fight. We just need to keep getting better."
The Mavericks (9-12) built leads of 15 and 16 points in the second half but another rash of late turnovers cracked the door open for Georgia State, which broke down the hinges when sophomore guard R.J. Hunter put Georgia State on top for the first time of the game with 2:24 remaining in the second half.
Trailing for the first time, UTA responded by reclaiming its lead at the free throw line and with three seconds remaining in the second half, Georgia State called its final timeout, down 82-79 and in need of a prayer.
The Panthers just managed to inbound the ball and found senior guard Devonta White, who heaved a shot from approximately 30 feet away from the basket with the game one the line.
The prayer was answered.
"That last possession figures," Cross said to www.utamavs.com. "We got the ball out of R.J.'s hands. It was one of those games. I'm proud of our guys. We were so close."
Georgia State tied the game and the home crowd rushed the court with .4 seconds remaining, yet the referees were reltuctant to call a technical foul on the Panthers, which sent the game into overtime where UTA was outscored 19-9.
UTA is under .500 again in the conference standings and is in a three-way tie for the No. 5 spot in the Sun Belt.
The Mavericks won three consecutive conference games last week, but after losing to Western Kentucky University on Thursday and Georgia State tonight, UTA is tied with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Monroe for fifth.
Starting five scores 84
Senior guard Reger Dowell led the Mavericks with 26 points on 7-of-14 shooting while junior guards Lonnie McClanahan and Jamel Outler combined for 40 points.
Senior forward Brandon Edwards added with 12 points and 10 rebounds for double-double No. 12 of the season and senior guard Shaquille White-Miller scored six points to round out UTA’s starting five.
Outler opened the game with six consecutive 3-pointers which put the Mavericks on top 24-15 with 10:52 remaining in the first half and went into the break with 19 points.
Along with Outler, Dowell was 4-for-6 from deep with 12 points in the first half and scored 13 more points in the second half on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
While Outler was held to zero points in the second half, McClanahan became the engine for the Mavericks' offense and scored 13 second-half points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Turnovers shoot down UTA
UTA turned the ball over 10 times in the first and second halves and finished the game with 22 turnovers.
Georgia State converted 30 of its 101 points off UTA’s turnovers, which were also a contributing factor in the Mavericks' 77-72 loss on Thursday in Bowling Green, Ky.
UTA had 16 turnovers against Western Kentucky University and has racked up 38 turnovers through two games.