Men's Basketball

UTA men pull away late to subdue UL Monroe in Sun Belt

UTA guard Jalen Jones, playing against Arkansas-Little Rock last season, scored 23 points Saturday in a 71-55 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
UTA guard Jalen Jones, playing against Arkansas-Little Rock last season, scored 23 points Saturday in a 71-55 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Special to the Star-Telegram

Jalen Jones matched a career high with 23 points Saturday and UT Arlington held Louisiana-Monroe without a field goal for the final 10 minutes for a 71-55 win.

The Mavericks (14-5, 4-2 Sun Belt) closed the game on a 19-2 run. The Warhawks (6-13, 0-6) missed their final 13 shots from the field and scored their last points on Jordon Harris’ pair of free throws with 6:13 left.

Jorge Bilbao added 13 points and a career-best 15 rebounds for UT Arlington for his second straight double-double. Kevin Hervey added 14 points and seven rebounds.

“I thought, in the second half, our defense was probably as good as it has been all year long,” UTA coach Scott Cross said, via UTAcom. “These two guys [Jones, Bilbao] led the charge. They came up with big rebounds for us.

He added: “If I was going to war, I would want these two guys next to me. They are two of the toughest guys I have ever coached.”

Harris made 5 of 9 from 3-point range and led Louisiana-Monroe with 19 points. Nick Coppola scored 11.

Jones gave the Mavericks the lead for good at 54-53 on a jumper with 10:05 left, 14 seconds after Travis Munnings’ 3-pointer gave the Warhawks their last lead and last field goal. Louisiana-Monroe had its largest lead at 22-16 in the first half.

UTA led only 33-31 at halftime behind Jones’ 14 points. ULM led 48-44 early in the second half before Kaelon Wilson’s dunk followed by a 6-0 run helped build the Mavericks’ lead to 60-53.

ULM shot only 33 percent from the floor against the UTA defense.

The Mavericks have won two straight and 13 of 15. They continue a two-game homestand against Louisiana-Lafayette at 8 p.m. Monday at College Park Center.

This story includes material from The Associated Press.

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