Mavericks face tall task in meeting with Longhorns

Dec 2, 2014 - 4:31 PM Austin, TX ( - The sixth-ranked Texas Longhorns put their undefeated mark on the line against an in-state foe, as the Mavericks of Texas-Arlington have come to town for a non-conference tussle.

The Mavericks are an even 3-3 on the season, but they are in the midst of a two-game skid after being routed by both top-ranked Kentucky (92-44) and Montana State (104-81). Prior to that, UTA had won two in a row by topping Grand Canyon (66-64) and Houston Baptist (87-69).

Texas is a perfect 6-0, and the team recently snapped Connecticut's 44-game non-conference home winning streak by prevailing in Storrs on Sunday, 55-54. The Longhorns also have impressive wins over Iowa and California on their early season resume'.

Texas has won each of the previous nine meetings in the series with Texas- Arlington, the latest being a 72-69 decision in Austin on Nov. 29, 2013.

Despite placing four players in double figures, the Mavericks fell in their most recent outing against Montana State. UTA lost the game at the defensive end, as the Bobcats shot 51.9 percent from the floor, which included an eye- popping 18-of-26 effort from 3-point range. Drew Charles, Lonnie McClanahan, Johnny Hill and Julian Harris each scored at least 11 points for the Mavs in defeat, while Erick Neal dished out five assists.

McClanahan (12.0 ppg) and Jamel Outler (10.3 ppg) are the only two players averaging double digits for a team that puts up 72 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of .404 overall, and .381 from 3-point range. Defensively, the Mavericks are yielding 79.7 ppg, with foes shooting 38.5 percent from downtown, while those same foes also lay claim to a +4.2 rebounding advantage.

Jonathan Holmes hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in Sunday's win at Connecticut, and he was one of three players to score in double figures for the Longhorns. Holmes (13 points, eight rebound), drained four treys in the game, but Texas shot just 37 percent from the floor. Fortunately, the team's defensive effort was much better, as it limited the Huskies to 30.4 percent field goal efficiency, which included a woeful 3-of-16 showing from beyond the arc. Demarcus Holland and Felix Javan chipped in 10 points apiece for UT in the hard-fought victory.

Isaiah Taylor continues to pace the team in scoring, as he is netting 15.0 ppg, although Holmes is hot on his heels with 13.3 ppg to go with his club- best 7.3 rpg. Freshman Myles Turner rounds out the unit's double-digit scorers with 11.2 ppg, and he grabs 6.7 rpg as well. Texas, which is scoring 74 ppg, has held each of its first six opponents to less than 60 points and only 32 percent shooting, and led by Turner (3.0 bpg), the 'Horns average 7.5 blocks per outing.

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