College Sports

January 29, 2014

UT Arlington men can wedge into Sun Belt race

The Mavericks face the conference’s top two teams on a tough two-game road trip.

The UT Arlington men hit the toughest road swing of the season at a perfect time.

After winning three straight to claw back into the Sun Belt title mix, the Mavericks travel to face the top two teams in the conference, beginning with Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. Thursday at the E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.

The Mavericks have gotten a huge boost from senior Reger Dowell, the conference’s leading scorer who returned from injury to score 21.5 points and earn the title of Sun Belt Player of the Week. But for UTA, the streak is a result of the lockdown defense the Mavericks have embraced all season long.

During the three-game streak, the Mavericks have held teams to under 40 percent shooting, the golden mark coach Scott Cross aims for every game.

“That’s the key,” Cross said. “Defense is where it starts.”

The Hilltoppers are powered by T.J. Price, a dynamic scoring guard who’s averaging 16.8 points per game and shooting 7.7 3-pointers per game.

After this game, the Mavericks turn around and face undefeated conference leader Georgia State.

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