SPOKANE, Wash. –
UT Arlington junior guard Brian Warren
eclipsed 1,000 career points Tuesday night at #8 Gonzaga, but the Mavericks (3-8) dropped an 89-55 decision to the Bulldogs (10-2) inside McCarthey Athletic Center.
Warren surpassed the 1,000-point mark (now has 1,003) on a 3-pointer in the 1st half and finished with a team-best 12 for the game to go along with five rebounds. TiAndre Jackson-Young
posted his second-consecutive double-figure point performance as he was the lone other Maverick to reach 10 points, finishing with exactly that total.
Following a UTA run in the middle stages of the opening stanza to trim the Gonzaga lead to single digits with less than 4 minutes to play, the Bulldogs – who were ranked #1 in the nation two weeks ago and boast the country's most efficient offense – held a double-figure lead for the final 23 minutes.
Despite facing its most formidable opponent of the year amidst one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the nation, UTA committed a season-low 11 turnovers and recorded a season-high 10 steals versus a Division-I opponent. However, the Mavs connected at a season-low 26.8 percent (19-71) from the floor, compared with the Bulldogs shooting 52.5 percent (31-59).
After missing the previous three games with a turf toe injury, Edric Dennis
– UTA's second-leading scorer at 14 per game – returned to the lineup on Tuesday and finished with eight points, a team-high-tying three assists and two steals. Radshad Davis
scored seven points and pulled down a team-best six boards, while Jabari Narcis
posted his second-highest scoring performance of the season with six off the bench.
Gonzaga was led by a double-double performance from All-American candidate Rui Hachimura of 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Brandon Clarke also secured a double-double of his own with 17 points and 13 caroms. Filip Petrusev (14), Corey Kispert (12) and Josh Perkins (10) rounded out the quintet of double-figure scorers for the Zags.
HEAD COACH CHRIS OGDEN
"We shot 12 more times than them, we only turned it over 11 times, but at some point you've just got to make a shot. But we just need to stay the course and remain positive. These are a bunch of new guys who have never been in any of these types of situations before, and this is by far the best team we've played this year. For us it's all about March – but we've got to keep our eyes ahead and not give up."
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Gonzaga threatened to run away the game early as the Zags opened up a 20-point lead, 32-12, just over 12 minutes in, prompting Ogden to use his first timeout of the night with the under-8 media timeout upcoming. That proved to be the correct move as the Mavs responded with a 9-0 spurt – spearheaded by consecutive 3s from Warren – to trim the deficit to 11.
Following a pair of David Azore
free throws at the 4-minute mark, UTA got its margin into single digits at 34-25, but the Zags closed on a strong stretch, limiting the Mavs to just two made field goals, en route to take a 48-30 lead into the halftime break.
The Mavs had the margin down to 16, 57-41, following a Pedro Castro
3-pointer at the 13:45 mark of the 2nd half, but that would be as close as UTA would get the rest of the way as Gonzaga bounced back from consecutive losses versus then-#7 Tennessee and at then-#12 North Carolina.
The Mavericks entered the game ranked 10th in the nation in 3-point percentage defense at 26.9 (single-season program record: 30.2 in 1994-95), and they held the Bulldogs below that clip at just 25 percent (6-24) from beyond the arc. The Zags countered that by out-scoring the Mavs in the paint, 48-16.
THIS AND THAT
The loss was UTA's seventh in a row – the first time that has occurred at any point in a season since February of 2002, and the first time in 30 years, during the 1987-88 campaign, that the Mavericks have lost seven consecutively in the non-conference schedule … this was UTA's 11th all-time meeting with a top-10 nationally-ranked opponent … the Mavs used their 8th different starting lineup in 11 games this year … the loss evened the all-time series between UTA and Gonzaga at 1-1 … in his first two collegiate seasons at Tyler Junior College, Warren tallied 842 points … Patrick Mwamba
recorded a game-high three steals.
IN THE MIDST OF A TOUGH STRETCH
Gonzaga was the fourth-straight opponent for UTA which played in the postseason last year. It's part of a larger stretch for the Mavs – who are projected by ESPN's Basketball Power Index to have the 7th-harded non-league schedule in the nation – in which eight of 11 opponents between mid-November and early January played in the postseason in 2018.
UTA will remain on the West Coast and face Cal Poly at 9 p.m. Central on Friday, Dec. 21.