ARLINGTON, Texas – Senior guard Lonnie McClanahan scored a game-high 18 points in his final home game, leading UT Arlington to an 82-73 victory over UALR Saturday night at College Park Center.
The Mavericks snapped a two-game losing streak in improving to 16-12 overall and 10-8 in the Sun Belt Conference. UTA sent its four seniors – McClanahan, guard Jamel Outler, forward Greg Gainey and center Anthony Walker – out on a high note on Senior Night.
McClanahan tallied his first double-double of the season – and only the second for UTA – with a career-high 12 assists. The Mavericks tied a season high with five players scoring in double figures, two coming off the bench.
Freshman guard Erick Neal came up big down the stretch in scoring 15. Freshman reserve guard Kaelon Wilson chipped in 12 points in 26 minutes. Gainey added 11 points and freshman forward Kevin Hervey scored 10.
The Trojans (13-16, 8-11) didn’t go away easy despite trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half. UALR took the lead 67-66 on J.T. Thomas’ 3-pointer with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
UTA answered with a 6-0 spurt to go back on top 72-67 going into the final
two minutes. Neal helped ice the win with a 30-foot 3-pointer late in the shot clock, as the Mavericks were able to hold to sweep the season series from the Trojans.
After an early deficit, the Mavericks began to assert themselves by driving to the basket and punishing UALR inside. UTA took a 21-12 lead midway through the first half with McClanahan leading the way.
The Trojans closed the gap before another run by UT Arlington. Wilson’s steak and vicious breakaway dunk gave the Mavs a 36-25 edge. The advantage reached 13 on Outler’s baseline jumper, and UTA went into the half up 40-31.
McClanahan had 16 points at the break on 6-of-7 shooting, along with six assists. The Mavericks were shooting 64 percent (16-25) at the half and enjoyed a commanding 24-4 edge in points in the paint.