UT Arlington missed five free throws in overtime and fell to Louisiana Monroe 76-73 in overtime Thursday at College Park Center.
Tied at 69-69, UTA’s Johnny Hill missed a pair of free throws, but the Mavericks got the rebound and kicked it out to Jamel Outler, who was fouled from 3-point range. He missed all three.
The Warhawks (8-6, 2-1 Sun Belt Conference) led by two on a late possession, and after a miss, the rebound was headed out of bounds. Jorge Bilbao threw it back in to save possession, but it landed in the arms of a waiting Warhawk, who slammed home the game-winner with 3 seconds left.
The loss gives the Mavericks (8-6, 2-2) their first loss at home since Nov. 18.
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The Mavericks took control of the game when they broke a tie with a 12-2 run in the early going by moving the ball around. With a stifling defensive effort, the Mavericks held ULM under 27 percent in the first half with nobody scoring more than three points.
Leading 38-26 early in the second half, the Mavericks fell into a second-half funk that’s becoming a common theme this season. The Warhawks used clutch 3-pointers from Majok Deng to climb back in it with a 17-5 run that tied the game.
But Kaelon Wilson delivered a huge blocked shot and drained a 3-pointer that re-energized the fledgling offensive unit. The Mavericks went back on a 9-0 run that gave them more breathing room, but the Warhawks wouldn’t relent and forced overtime in the final minute.
The Mavericks’ next game is Saturday at home against Arkansas State (7:15 p.m.). They go on the road to Georgia State on Thursday, before returning home Jan. 19 against Texas State.