January 20, 2011

UT-Arlington Uses Late Surge to Knock off Men's Basketball

ARLINGTON, Texas - Demond Watt

scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but a second-half UT-Arlington rally gave the Mavericks (8-8, 2-2 Southland) a 70-49 victory over the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team (6-12, 1-3) on Wednesday at Texas Hall. Bo Ingram led four Mavs in double figures with 16 points.

For Watt, it was his league-leading eighth double-double of the season and the 19th of his career, tied for second in school history. UTA used a late 27-5 run to make what was a close game to start with become lopsided. Cameron Catlett scored 13 points, while LaMarcus Reed and Armani Williams each netted 11 for the Mavs. Jaamon Echols scored seven points and matched a career high with three steals.

The Mavs got off to a quick 5-0 lead in the game, but Chris Mast stopped that with a layup to make it 5-2 at the 17:03 mark. After a UTA basket, the Islanders put up a quick-hit 5-0 run on a Terence Jones triple and a Watt putback to tie it up. UTA countered with a 7-0 run of its own for a 14-7 lead at 12:47.

But then Echols took control to spark a 16-6 run, scoring seven straight points. The freshman hit a trio of free throws and then added a layup and a floater off a turnover to make it 18-14. Echols followed with another steal in the backcourt that led to a Watt free throw and then Watt posted a layin off a Maverick turnover to trim the deficit to 18-17. The Islanders then got two free throws from Watt and a resounding dunk from the senior off a steal to gain their first lead at 21-20. Garland Judkins followed with a breakaway layup of his own to give the visitors a three-point lead.

The two teams traded points back-and-forth until the break, but Watt hit a fadeaway jumper from the baseline as the buzzer sounded to give the Islanders a 30-27 halftime lead. Watt had a stellar first stanza, pouring in 11 points and grabbing six boards to lead all players in both categories.

Out of the locker room, the Mavericks came out spirited, and tied the game on a three-ball from Ingram to make it 30-30. The teams continued their back-and-forth battle over the next few minutes, but a three-point play by Horace Bond made it 41-38 at the 15:56 mark. UTA countered with a 5-0 run for its first lead after the break, but it was another three-point play, this one by Watt, that returned the lead to the Islanders.

But Arlington delivered the decisive run at that point, using a 10-0 rally that gave the home squad its largest lead of the contest to that point at 53-44. A free throw from Chris Mast snapped that rally, but the Mavericks tacked on four more in a row for a 57-45 edge. Another Mast free throw was topped by five straight from the Mavs to make it a 62-46 lead for the home team. Terence Jones' three from the right side finally stopped the skein with 4:19 to play. The Mavericks netted the game's final nine points to result in the final score.

The Islanders are back in Corpus Christi this weekend, as they will take on Sam Houston State in the Dugan Wellness Center on Saturday, Jan. 22. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. between Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and the Bearkats.