The UT Arlington women’s basketball team dropped its third straight game to open Sun Belt Conference play, its third in a four-game homestand, to Louisiana Monroe 84-67 on Wednesday.
And in the latest loss, there were bad omens before the game even started. Tipoff was delayed about 25 minutes when fire alarms went off at College Park Center because of what UTA sports information officials said was a faulty smoke alarm.
When the game did start, the Mavericks’ offense didn’t. ULM’s pressure defense in the backcourt and on post entry passes forced turnovers on three of UTA’s first four possessions, and the Mavs didn’t score their first points until Chauntandra Williams drove down the middle of the lane with 14:40 to play in the first half to make the score 10-2.
Monroe (5-9, 1-1 Sun Belt) took a 38-22 lead into halftime as center Sharnice Brooks took over inside for 12 points before the break. Brooks led ULM with 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
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Guard Tahlia Pope netted 10 of the Mavs’ 22 points in the first half and finished with 15 points and seven boards.
Early in the second half, UTA point guard Laila Suleiman hit two 3-pointers in the first five minutes. Briana Walker’s inside basket with 12 minutes left brought the Mavs (1-13, 0-4) back to within 55-45.
Walker led the Mavs with 19 points, all in the second half, and seven rebounds. The senior forward brought UTA back within eight on a jumper with 5:30 left to play, but that was as close as the Mavs could get.
UTA shot 28 percent from the field in the first half compared with 52 percent in the second half.