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ULM (10-16) vs. Texas-Arlington (14-16)

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 9:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Lakefront Arena (8,933) - New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: Sun Belt Network. Home Record: ULM 6-6, UTA 9-5. Away Record: ULM 4-10, UTA 5-11. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, UTA 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 7-11, UTA 9-9. Series Record: ULM leads, 46-14.

GAME NOTES: The Sun Belt Conference Tournament tips off tonight as the Texas-Arlington Mavericks take on the ULM Warhawks in opening-round action from Lakefront Arena.

The Mavericks posted a 9-9 mark in the Sun Belt this season, finishing as the six seed, while the Warhawks went 7-11 in conference, ending with the seven seed. The winner of this contest will take on three seed Louisiana in the quarterfinal round on Friday night.

The Warhawks enter this contest fresh off a regular-season finale 66-65 win over Arkansas-Little Rock. Tylor Ongwae finished with 15 points and seven rebounds as ULM improved to 10-16 overall this season. Nick Coppola added 15 points, while R.J. McCray added 11 points and Marvin Williams chipped in with 10 points for the Warhawks, who won for only the third time in 10 outings.

The Mavericks are coming off an 78-73 regular-season ending setback to South Alabama, which didn't even qualify for the Sun Belt Tournament as it finished second-to-last in the standings.

Brandon Edwards led the Mavericks with 18 points, hitting a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line, while Jamel Outler finished with 13 points for UTA, which fell to 14-16 this season.

The Sun Belt's leading scorer Reger Dowell was held to only 11 points, as UTA saw South Alabama go on a 16-4 run with eight minutes to play to pull away for good.

Dowell ended the regular season averaging 20.2 ppg, nearly one point per game better that Elfrid Payton of Louisiana. UTA also had a two other players rank in the top 15 in the conference in scoring with Brandon Edwards averaging 16.5 ppg and Lonnie McClanahan adding 14.3 ppg. Edwards was also the second-best rebounder in the Sun Belt, averaging 9.7 rpg.

The Mavericks averaged 76.3 ppg in the regular season on 43.7 percent shooting. However, UTA doesn't play strong defensively, allowing 77.7 ppg on 44 percent shooting.

The low-scoring Warhawks are led by Ongwae's 16.1 ppg. The team only averages 64.3 ppg, but does hold opponents to just 68.6 ppg.

UTA defeated ULM in both matchups this season. The Mavericks escaped with an 83-79 overtime win on Jan. 9 and then went to Monroe and won 85-74 on Feb. 13.

In that most recent game, McClanahan notched 23 points and Edwards netted 19 points for the Mavericks. Dowell contributed 17 points. Ongwae tallied a game- high 24 points for the Warhawks.

Expect the same result in this third meeting of the season, as the Mavericks have much more depth and scoring ability.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-Arlington 74, ULM 68

03/13 11:09:19 ET

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