After falling behind by 17 in the first 10 minutes of Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky, UT Arlington’s Reger Dowell ensured his team wouldn’t see a repeat of Thursday’s embarrassing loss to Georgia State. He did so by turning in the best game of his career.
The senior notched a career-high 37 points and brought the Mavericks back to earn their biggest win of the season, an 80-73 comeback victory on Senior Night at College Park Center.
“We got hit in the nose, but we just kept fighting,” Dowell said. “We fought for our brothers out there.”
It sure didn’t seem like that much had changed early when Western Kentucky (19-10, 11-5 Sun Belt) quickly hit six 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes to grab a 26-9 lead.
The Mavericks (13-15, 8-8) have stumbled when faced with an early deficit much of this season, but coach Scott Cross said Thursday’s loss might have been the best thing to happen to this team.
The Mavericks kept cutting into Western Kentucky’s lead, trimming it down to four points early in the second half. The Hilltoppers connected on 10 3-pointers but struggled late, going just 2 of 12 in the second half.
Senior Shaq White-Miller hit a jumper with 2:55 to play that gave UTA the lead, and Dowell went 6 for 6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to seal the win.
“This was by far the biggest win of the year for us,” Cross said. “The team Thursday — I don’t associate myself with that. But the team that came out here tonight is exactly what I want my teams to be.”