Despite a disappointing loss to UC Irvine on Saturday, it’s the big picture that counts for the UT Arlington men’s basketball team.The Mavericks still sit in good shape, having won seven of their last nine games, including a 19-point win over San Jose State in San Jose, Calif., a month ago. The Mavericks will go for the season sweep when they host the Spartans at 7 p.m. Thursday at College Park Center.Coach Scott Cross has his team playing good basketball as the season winds down, but that all hinges on the Mavericks’ ability to score. Since scoring 51 points against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 2, the Mavericks have averaged 68.7 points per game and shed the label as the lowest-scoring team in the Western Athletic Conference.Kevin Butler still leads the team in scoring, but Jamel Outler earned another look as a legit scoring threat with a 21-point game against UC Irvine on Saturday. Outler was expected to lead the team in scoring this season, so his late emergence could spell good things for Cross’ team.“We’ve got to get him to toughen up in some areas defensively, but he’s a guy that can really score the basketball,” he said.The Mavericks got some good news this week with the clearance of Greg Gainey, who left Saturday’s game with a concussion after scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds in the first half. He’s expected to come off the bench.
San Jose State at UTA
7 p.m. Thursday, College Park Center
Records: SJSU 9-16, 3-11 WAC; UTA 15-10, 9-5
Radio: KKDA/730 AM