Texas-Arlington (2-2) at (4) Kentucky (3-1)|
Tuesday, November 19, 7:30 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Rupp Arena (23,500) -- Lexington, Kentucky.
Television: CSS. Home Record: UTA 2-1, UK 3-0. Away Record: UTA 0-1, UK 0-0.
Neutral Record: UTA 0-0, UK 0-1. Conference Record: UTA 0-0, UK 0-0. Series
Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: After falling from the top spot in the latest AP poll, the fourth-
ranked Kentucky Wildcats are expected to take their frustrations out on the
Texas-Arlington Mavericks at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night as part of the
UTA has been inconsistent to start the season, the team sitting at an even
2-2. The Mavericks opened with a 116-87 loss at Boise State, but followed that
up with back-to-back wins at home against Samford (88-75) and Howard Payne
(111-64). They closed out their three-game stint in front of the hometown
faithful on Nov. 15 with an 83-73 loss to Cleveland State.
Kentucky came in to the campaign with a preseason No. 1 ranking for the first
time since 1995, but after winning its first two games, it dropped a marquee
matchup to No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 12 in Chicago, 78-74. The Wildcats got
back on track on Sunday night by easily dismissing Robert Morris, 87-49, in a
revenge game from last season's NIT.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between Texas-Arlington and Kentucky on
UTA dug itself a big hole in its last game, trailing Cleveland State by 15
points at the half, and even though it was able to shrink the deficit to six
later, it could not complete the comeback. Reger Dowell led the effort with 25
points on a busy night both from 3-point range (5-of-13) and the foul line (8-
of-11). Brandon Edwards logged a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds
to go with two blocks, while Lonnie McClanahan netted 18 points but also
committed five turnovers. The Mavericks' dreadful shooting percentage the last
time out (.328) has not been indicative of their season as a whole, as they
are draining nearly 46 percent of their field goal tries for 89.8 points per
game. Dowell (26.0 ppg) is the nation's ninth-leading scorer on the young
season, thanks largely to his hot start from beyond the arc (17-of-41).
Edwards (17.5 ppg, 11.3 rpg is a nightly double-double threat, while
McClanahan (14.3 ppg) and Vincent Dillard (10.5 ppg) round out the unit's
The Wildcats barely broke a sweat in their 38-point triumph on Sunday night,
as they outshot Robert Morris from the field, 49.1 percent to 23.2 percent,
and held a decisive rebounding advantage as well (56-33). Aaron Harrison had
the best performance of his young career with 28 points on 7-of-12 shooting
from the floor and a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line, while fellow
freshmen Julius Randle (10 points, 15 rebounds) and James Young (10 points)
were also impressive. Willie Cauley-Stein came off the bench to register seven
points, 13 boards and four blocks. Its one loss aside, Kentucky has been
predictably dominant otherwise, boasting huge margins in both scoring (+24.0)
and rebounding (+20.3). Much of the team's success can be attributed to the
play of Randle, who has lived up to the hype as one of the most talented
freshmen in the country by averaging 20.5 points and 14.5 rebounds per game,
although he has been plagued by 15 turnovers. Aaron Harrison scores 14.3
points per game, while his twin brother Andrew (10.0 ppg) joins him out on the
perimeter. Young (11.3 ppg), Cauley-Stein (5.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Alex
Poythress (7.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) are also important assets to the deep squad.
The question of whether the Wildcats can compete with the nation's elite will
have to wait for another day, as they will have no trouble dismissing a shaky
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 88, Texas-Arlington 60
11/19 10:54:57 ET