Erick Neal tied a career high with 27 points and sparked a second-half comeback, but the UT Arlington men’s basketball team fell 80-76 to Appalachian State on Sunday in Boone, N.C.
The Mavericks (9-6, 0-2 Sun Belt) scored 55 points in the second half but couldn’t overcome a 41-21 halftime deficit in losing consecutive games to open the conference season.
Neal, a senior guard from Dallas Lincoln, was 11-of-24 shooting and added eight rebounds. He also became the school’s all-time assist leader on a Johnny Hamilton layup in the second half and now has 652 career assists.
Kevin Hervey, who almost averaged a double-double in the first 13 games of the season, was only 5-of-20 from the field while finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Ronshad Shabazz led Appalachian State (7-7, 2-0) with 21 points, while O’Showen Williams added 14 points to help keep the Mavs out of striking distance.
UTA tries to rediscover its rhythm at 7:15 p.m. Thursday when it plays host to Troy.
UTA women 64, Appalachian State 60: The Mavericks (7-6, 1-1) prevailed in a back-and-forth battle Sunday at the Holmes Convocation Center in Boone, N.C.
Appalachian State (2-11, 0-2) mounted a 12-2 run in the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead, but UTA held off the Mountaineers with a strong finish.
Daiane Machado followed up a career-high 16 points Friday with a team-high 14 Sunday.
Rebekah VanDijk made her presence around the rim noticed, blocking six shots and securing 10 rebounds for the Mavericks. VanDijk has 165 career blocks and is one away from tying for the second most in school history.
UT Arlington returns to College Park Center for its league home opener Thursday at 5 p.m. against Sun Belt defending champion Troy (6-6, 1-0).
Kansas 86, TCU women 77 : The Horned Frogs (9-4, 0-2 Big 12) couldn’t overcome a slow start Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
Kansas (10-3, 1-1) led 27-15 after the first quarter and extended the edge to 48-35 at halftime. The Jayhawks scored 19 points off turnovers in the first half as TCU had 12 in the first half and 20 for the game.
Amy Okonkwo recorded 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead TCU. The junior forward was 10-of-10 on free throws as TCU shot a season-high 33 attempts from the line.
Amber Ramirez added 16 points and Jordan Moore scored 13. The Frogs, however, shot just 39 percent from the floor while the Jayhawks shot nearly 50 percent.
TCU next heads to Norman to face Oklahoma (6-7, 1-1) on Thursday at 5 p.m.