ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington dropped to 0-2 in the Sun Belt Conference with Saturday’s 72-70 loss to UALR before 1,875 fans at College Park Center.
The Trojans pulled it out on Josh Hagins’ jumper at the buzzer. The Mavericks (5-9) last lost their first two league games during the 2009-10 season. UT returns to Sun Belt action Thursday at noon against UL-Monroe.
“That was an absolute heartbreaker,” UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said.
The Mavericks spent much of the game playing from behind, but had their chances in the final minutes. Junior guard Lonnie McClanahan’s two free throws cut UALR’s lead to 68-66 with 1:29 left.
A pair of free throws from senior forward Brandon Edwards with 30.2 seconds left tied the game 70-70. The Trojans (7-7, 2-0) held the ball for the final shot, which Hagins knocked down from the top of the key.
McClanahan helped fuel the final push, and finished with
a team-high 17 points. Edwards had 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Reger Dowell scored 13, but was injured in the second half and didn’t return. Senior guard Shaquille White-Miller scored 10 and dished out four assists.
Trojans took an early 12-5 lead, coaxing a timeout out of Cross. The Mavericks would trail by as many as 11 before finding a spark late in the first half behind a number of defensive stops.
UT Arlington finished the half with an 11-1 run to tie the game 33-33 going into the locker room. Edwards had 12 points at the break, with White-Miller adding eight points and three assists.
The Mavericks shot 42.9 percent over the first 20 minutes. UALR, which was hot early, had fallen to 32.1 percent. The Trojans did enjoy a 13-5 edge in made free throws.
UALR regained the lead to open the second half and were up as many as nine before the Mavericks had a push. McClanahan’s layup with six minutes left pulled UTA within 59-55.