Women's Basketball

UTA women look to continue early success against McMurry

In coach Krista Gerlich’s second year on the job, the UT-Arlington women’s basketball team has matched its win total from last season (when UTA went 4-25) in just seven games.

The Mavericks (4-3) broke the four-win barrier Saturday with their first road win of the season, a 42-28 dismantling of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. There was little fanfare for the occasion, as the Mavericks are back in action Wednesday night against McMurry (1-10) at College Park Center.

The War Hawks play in the Division III American Southwest Conference and come into Arlington reeling, losers of their last nine contests since their lone win of the season Nov. 19 at Adams State (Colo.).

Guard Taylor Neal leads McMurry with 13.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

All this has Gerlich and the Mavericks looking to start a new winning streak before Sun Belt Conference play begins Dec. 30.

“We’re never in a position where we can overlook anyone,” Gerlich said. “That said, we don’t feel like they can man us for 40 minutes, so we’ll probably see some zone, and we’ve got to recognize mismatches and double-teams and work the ball through all our options before taking the shot.”

The Mavs’ offense has hit a bumpy patch in the last three games, averaging just 46 points on 34.5 percent shooting with UTA going 1-2 in that stretch. But the UTA defense has been stout, holding opponents to 49.5 points per game in the Mavericks’ last four contests.

“We’re not too concerned about [the offense],” Gerlich said. “We’re working every day at getting better shots and fighting through a little adversity.”

With freshman center Rebekah Van Dijk racking up six double-doubles in her first seven collegiate games, Gerlich said she expects teams to start focusing on stopping the 6-foot-5 youngster.

“Our shooters and guards are going to have to adjust and get in alleys to get open and get the ball out of those double-teams,” Gerlich said.

That is, if the War Hawks can offer any real resistance down low.

McMurry does not field a post player taller than 5-foot-11. Tip-off at College Park Center is slated for 7 p.m.

UTA women vs. McMurry

7 p.m. Wednesday, College Park Center