Texas-Arlington (6-9) at Louisiana (9-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cajundome (13,500) -- Lafayette, Louisiana.
Television: None. Home Record: UTA 5-3, Louisiana 6-0. Away Record: UTA 1-6,
Louisiana 2-5. Neutral Record: UTA 0-0, Louisiana 1-0. Conference Record: UTA
1-2, Louisiana 0-1. Series Record: Louisiana leads, 10-7.
GAME NOTES: The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns open up a two-game homestand at the
Cajundome on Saturday afternoon, as they play host to the Texas-Arlington
Mavericks in a Sun Belt Conference showdown.
After dropping its first two league contests versus Arkansas State (82-66) and
Arkansas-Little Rock (72-70), UTA finally got into the Sun Belt win column on
Thursday night with a stellar 83-79 overtime victory against ULM. The
Mavericks are still just 6-9 on the season, which includes only one win in
seven road games.
Louisiana had won three of its previous four games prior to opening up
conference action at ULM last Saturday, when it fell in double-overtime,
103-98. The Cajuns, who are 9-5 overall, have yet to lose in the Cajundome in
The Cajuns lead the all-time series with UTA, 10-7, although these new
conference rivals haven't met since 1982.
Trailing by one with just one second left in regulation, UTA had a chance to
take the lead when Jamel Outler stepped to the foul line, but he made only 1-
of-2 to send the game to overtime where it eventually lost by four. It shot
44.6 percent from the field in the loss, including a lofty 13-of-29 from 3-
point range, but it ultimately couldn't stop ULM, which made greater than 51
percent of its field goal tries. Lonnie McClanahan was outstanding with 25
points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. Jamel Outler was stellar
despite his poor showing at the line (3-of-7), finishing with 20 points, while
Brandon Edwards tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
The Mavericks have established a theme this season, as they score plenty of
points (80.1 ppg) while having extreme difficulty stopping their opponents
(79.9 ppg). Reger Dowell pours in 22.0 ppg but he was sidelined in Thursday's
loss with an injury. Edwards is one of the conference's top forwards, posting
17.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg and 2.0 bpg, all while shooting 52.8 percent from the field.
McClanahan (12.9 ppg) and Outler (10.4 ppg) are also regular contributors.
Louisiana overcame a double-digit second-half deficit to ULM in its most
recent contest, forcing overtime after Xavian Rimmer was fouled from 3-point
distance and drained three free throws with only three seconds in regulation,
but it ultimately couldn't outlast the Warhawks in two overtimes. It kept the
game close throughout by shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 25-of-35
from the foul line, but the difference came on the glass, where it was
outrebounded, 54-44. Elfrid Payton shined despite the setback with a triple-
double of 34 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, all career highs. Shawn Long
was also impressive with 21 points, eight boards and six blocks, while Steven
Wronkoski scored 11.
The Cajuns have gotten used to high point totals this season, as they shoot
47.2 percent from the field for 84.9 ppg, which ranks 14th in the nation. They
are led by one of the country's best scoring duos in Long and Payton, with
Long (21.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.9 bpg) patrolling the paint and Payton (20.7 ppg,
6.0 apg, 5.8 rpg, 2.2 spg) manning the perimeter.
Despite the Cajuns' most recent setback, they are clearly the more impressive
team in this matchup, and their perfect record at the Cajundome doesn't appear
to be in jeopardy against the Mavericks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana 81, Texas-Arlington 71
01/11 12:01:51 ET
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