Men's Basketball

UTA men fall flat after fast start, lose in Sun Belt semifinals

UTA junior Jalen Jones led the Mavericks with 19 points and 10 rebounds Saturday in an 82-71 loss to Louisiana Monroe at the Sun Belt tournament semifinals.
UTA junior Jalen Jones led the Mavericks with 19 points and 10 rebounds Saturday in an 82-71 loss to Louisiana Monroe at the Sun Belt tournament semifinals. Star-Telegram

UT Arlington started the game with a 12-0 run. The Mavericks were outscored by 23 from then on.

UTA (23-10) fell behind by 18 in the second half, losing to Louisiana Monroe 82-71 on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the men’s Sun Belt tournament, two wins short of an automatic NCAA bid.

The third-seeded Mavericks led 12-0 with 16:29 left in the first half after a 3-pointer by Jalen Jones, who led UTA with 19 points.

No. 2 seed ULM (20-12) took the lead at 19-18 with 9:14 left in the half and never trailed again, going on a 27-6 run. UTA trailed 39-30 at halftime. The Mavericks never got any closer and trailed 72-54 with 5:38 to play.

UT Arlington was 13-3 before leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Hervey was lost for the season with a knee injury. The Mavs are 10-7 since.

UTA guard Drew Charles, whose 22-point game led the Mavericks past Texas State in the quarterfinals, scored 17 points Saturday. But he was only 8 of 23 from the field and 1 of 9 on 3-pointers.

ULM shot 50 percent from the field (27 of 54). DeMondre Harvey had a career-high 21 points for the Warhawks, who will face Arkansas-Little Rock at noon Sunday (ESPN2) for the Sun Belt championship. Little Rock defeated Louisiana Lafayette 72-65 in the first semifinal Saturday.

“We started out extremely hot, but then we went cold. That is a credit to Monroe,” UTA coach Scott Cross said, via UTA’s website. “Their size and length definitely bothers us. Our guys played hard, they have nothing to be ashamed about.”

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