Samford (1-0) at Texas-Arlington (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 12, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: College Park Center (7,000) -- Arlington, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Samford 1-0, UTA 0-0. Away Record: Samford 0-0, UTA 0-1. Neutral Record: Samford 0-0, UTA 0-0. Conference Record: Samford 0-0, UTA 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 5-5.
GAME NOTES: The Texas-Arlington Mavericks open a three-game homestand on Tuesday night when they take on the Samford Bulldogs.
Just as it did a season ago, Samford kicked off its campaign with a home win over Martin Methodist, 79-62. However, the triumph to start the 2012-13 season was one of only two wins outside of Southern Conference play for the Bulldogs, who were just 11-21 overall a season ago, and they hope that Bennie Seltzer's second season as head coach will bring more success.
UTA's first and only season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference in 2012-13 was a success, as it finished with a 19-14 overall record and made it all the way to the conference tournament championship game. Now part of the Sun Belt, the Mavericks started their season with a tough road matchup against Boise State, where they were torched by the Broncos, 116-87.
The series between these two teams in knotted at 5-5, and the road team has won each of the last two matchups, with UTA claiming a 65-58 victory last season.
It was hardly a dominant performance for Samford in its season opener against an inferior Martin Methodist squad, as the team shot a modest 43.3 percent from the field, including just 7-of-22 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs did however, win the rebounding battle (46-35) while forcing 17 turnovers. Tim Williams was the bright spot in the victory, posting a double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds, picking up right where he left off a season ago (14.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg). Raijon Kelly, another impressive performer from the 2012-13 squad (14.1 ppg, 4.7 apg), made a splash in the opener as well with 14 points and five assists, although he was only 6-of-15 from the field. Isaiah Williams earned 27 minutes off the bench and took advantage with 16 points and five assists.
The Mavericks had no answer for Boise State, which fell just shy of setting a school record in scoring in the opener. The good news for UTA, however, is that after shooting 40.5 percent from the field in the first half, it was able to improve to 47.2 percent over the final 20 minutes, although much of that was likely due to Boise State taking its foot off the gas pedal after establishing a large lead. Reger Dowell led the way with 20 points, doing the majority of his damage from beyond the arc (5-of-12). Dowell, formerly of Oklahoma State, will figure prominently in his first season as a Maverick. Lonnie McClanahan (19 points, four assists) and Vincent Dillard (18 points) also made their team debuts to impressive results. The only returning starter from a season ago is Brandon Edwards, who logged 13 points and eight rebounds in the setback.
In all likelihood, Samford is not as good as it displayed in its opener, and conversely, UTA is not a bad as it showed against Boise State. Holding the home court advantage against an inexperienced team that won just four road games a season ago, expect the Mavericks to even their record.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-Arlington 76, Samford 66
11/12 10:34:43 ET