Texas-Arlington (4-4) at (21) Baylor (8-1)
Saturday, December 20th, 9:30 p.m. (et).
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ferrell Center (10,284) -- Waco, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: UT-Arlington 3-0, Baylor 5-0. Away Record: UT- Arlington 1-3, Baylor 1-0. Neutral Record: UT-Arlington 0-1, Baylor 2-1. Conference Record: UT-Arlington 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Series Record: Baylor leads, 10-1.
GAME NOTES: The 21st-ranked Baylor Bears and the Texas-Arlington Mavericks will collide tonight in a non-conference clash at the Ferrell Center in Waco.
Texas-Arlington is 3-47 all-time against Big 12 opponents, not exactly a reason for optimism heading into this apparent mismatch. The Mavericks opened the season with wins in four of their first five outings, but three straight defeats have dropped the club to 4-4 overall. UT-Arlington was most recently in action last Saturday when it dropped an 81-68 decision to Marshall.
Baylor has also been idle for a full week, as it knocked off Prairie View A&M by a 90-63 final last weekend. The Bears are now 8-1 overall and have won two straight since suffering their lone loss to Wake Forest. The team has beaten a pair of strong Pac-10 foes in Arizona State and Washington State, the most obvious reason that the Bears are among the nationally ranked.
Baylor owns a 10-1 series lead over Texas-Arlington in the all-time series, and the Bears have won the last four meetings.
There are four players on the UT-Arlington roster who are averaging double figures in scoring this season. Anthony Vereen leads the club with 16.4 ppg, and he is shooting 54.9 percent from the floor while pulling down 6.3 rpg. Brandon Long provides 15.7 ppg, and Marques Haynes adds 14.1 ppg. Rounding out the foursome is Roge'r Guignard with 11.3 ppg. The Mavericks are scoring 76.6 ppg while allowing 70.5 ppg to the opposition. In the loss to Marshall last weekend, UT-Arlington struggled at the defensive end, permitting the Thundering Herd to connect on 51.8 percent of their field goal attempts. The Mavericks were led in defeat by Long, as he tallied 20 points. Haynes pitched in 14 points, and Vereen contributed 10.
Baylor is outscoring its opponents by more than 20 points per contest despite being slightly outrebounded on average. While the Bears are generating an impressive 82.2 ppg, they are limiting foes to just 61.3 ppg on 37 percent shooting from the floor. LaceDarius Dunn paces the squad with 16.9 ppg, and Curtis Jerrells adds 15.9 ppg and 5.8 apg. Henry Dugat chips in with 13.2 ppg, and Kevin Rogers adds 10.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg. The strong offensive balance was evident in the victory over Prairie View A&M last time out, as Dunn paced four double-digit scorers with 18 points off the bench. Dugat and Tweety Carter added 17 points apiece, and Jerrells finished with 13 points and eight assists. A 15-of-31 effort from three-point range clearly played a major role in the win.
It remains to be seen how Baylor will stack up against the top teams in the Big 12 this year. The Bears are gaining confidence, and they will claim another easy victory here today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 89, Texas-Arlington 72
12/20 10:27:21 ET