UT Arlington was held to one field goal in the final five minutes of Saturday’s 54-49 loss to Texas State at College Park Center.
Guard Malaika Green made a 3-pointer from the wing that gave the Mavericks a 45-43 lead with 5:05 left to play as the lead changed hands seven times in the second half.
But after Texas State guard Kaitlin Walla drove the baseline for two points to put the Bobcats up 46-45, the Mavs, who shot a paltry 32 percent from the field, didn’t hit another shot until Green’s desperation 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining.
Green made four 3-pointers en route to a season-high 14 points in the loss. Forward Briana Walker led UTA (3-20, 2-10 Sun Belt Conference) with 16 points and seven rebounds.
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The Mavs took a 24-20 lead into halftime despite shooting just 30 percent from the field, and despite missing center Desherrra Nwanguma for long stretches after she picked up her second foul with 14:49 left in the first half. Walker carried the Mavs in the first 20 minutes with 10 points and five rebounds.
Nwanguma, who had averaged 20 points and 13 rebounds in the seven games prior to Saturday’s, managed just four points and eight boards against the Bobcats.
Texas State guard Kaylan Martin and center Ashley Ezeh fueled the Bobcats in the second half. Martin scored 11 of her game-high 17 points after halftime, making three 3-pointers at big moments as the half wore on. Ezeh, despite fouling out with just eight points, made moves in the lane early in the second half to keep Texas State (11-11, 8-3) within striking distance.
The Mavericks will hit the road Wednesday to play Arkansas State, which beat UTA 66-62 at College Park Center on Jan. 2.