Senior guard Tahlia Pope made 4 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc and scored a game-high 17 points Wednesday night to lead the UT Arlington women team to a lopsided 82-25 win over McMurry at College Park Center.
“We knew as guards we had to pick up our 3-point shooting,” Pope said. “It’s a good feeling. We were focused on knocking down the open shot.”
The Mavericks did just that, shooting 12 of 19 on 3-pointers. With the victory, the Mavericks (5-3) guaranteed themselves a winning nonconference record just one year after compiling a 4-25 overall record.
“It’s nice to be able to build on some wins and to see our kids have fun,” coach Krista Gerlich said. “It’ll be nice going into conference with that confidence and a little momentum.”
Freshman center Rebekah Van Dijk notched her seventh consecutive double-double in just 18 minutes, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Point guard LaShanda Green chipped in 11 points and seven assists in what Gerlich called a “crafty performance.”
“LaShanda can make something out of nothing, sometimes,” Gerlich said. “She relaxed and shot the ball well and distributed the ball well.”
UTA’s defense held McMurry (1-11) to just 10 field goals and 16.7 percent shooting. The Mavericks forced 21 turnovers and scored 26 points as a direct result.
About the only thing the Mavs didn’t do well was shoot free throws (6 of 16). It was the second time this season that UTA has failed to shoot 50 percent from the foul line.
The Mavericks travel to Denton on Sunday to face North Texas in their final nonconference game before Sun Belt play starts Dec. 30.