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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frank Erwin Center (16,734) -- Austin, Texas. Television: Longhorn Network. Home Record: UTA 0-1, Texas 3-0. Away Record: UTA 3-0, Texas 0-0. Neutral Record: UTA 0-0, Texas 1-2. Conference Record: UTA 0-0, Texas 0-0. Series Record: Texas leads, 7-0.
GAME NOTES: Intrastate foes will square off in Austin on Saturday afternoon, as the Texas-Arlington Mavericks pay a visit to the Texas Longhorns.
All three of UTA's wins this season have come on the road, most recently upending North Texas on Wednesday, 72-59. The Mavericks are 3-0 on the road to start a campaign for the first time in school history, and they are 12-3 in their last 15 games away from home.
Texas opened the season at 2-0 before heading to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, where it lost its first two bouts before beating Mississippi State, 69-55, in the seventh-place game. The Longhorns returned home on Tuesday with a dominating 65-37 win over Sam Houston State to move to 4-2.
Texas has won all seven previous matchups against its satellite campus.
Although UTA hasn't been the most efficient squad from the field through four games (.426), it has started the season 3-1 behind the one of the nation's best field goal percentage defenses, as it allows teams to make just 31.6 percent from the floor. The Mavericks impressed yet again at the defensive end of the court in the recent road win over North Texas, holding the Mean Green to just 18-of-58 shooting for the game (.310), including a woeful 4-of-23 from three-point range. Leading the offensive effort was Karol Gruszecki, who made good on 6-of-10 shots from the field en route to a career-high 17 points. Greg Gainey added 11 points off the bench, and Jordan Reves (seven points) was a difference-maker in the paint with 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. The modest offensive attack is paced by Kevin Butler, who nets 10.8 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting. Gruszecki averages 10.0 ppg, and Reves is a threat for a double-double each night with 9.5 ppg and 12.3 rpg to go along with a team- high 10 blocks.
The Longhorns have been one of the few teams in the country more stout on defense than UTA, as it holds it opponents to a minuscule field goal percentage (.309) and just 56.0 ppg. In their latest win, they held Sam Houston State to 21 percent from the field (13-of-62), which was the second- longest percentage by an opponent since 1960. The defensive effort saved a poor showing from the floor themselves, as they made just 39.5 percent of their total shots, including 3-of-12 from beyond the arc. Sheldon McClellan was off the mark with his field goal attempts all night (4-of-13), but he still finished with a team-high 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Jonathan Holmes (11 points) and Julien Lewis (10 points) were the only other Longhorns to tally in double figures. The shooting struggles have been a problem for Texas all season, as it makes less than 43 percent of its field goal attempts. McClellan is the leading scorer with 17.5 ppg, with Lewis the only other player in double-digits (11.0 ppg). A plus-7.8 rebounding margin has been a big help winning games, with Jonathan Holmes (9.2 rpg) being the biggest asset on the glass.
The Mavericks have proved that they will not roll over on the road, even against high-quality opponents. Both teams play a similar style of lock-down defense, so this should be a low-scoring affair, but Texas has more experienced playmakers to come up with a big basket down the stretch, giving it the advantage at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 62, Texas-Arlington 55
12/01 10:55:46 ET
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