Road court advantage?
The UTA Mavericks continue to play amazingly better away from the College Park Center in their new conference, upping their WAC road record to 3-0 with a 74-68 win at Utah State.
The Mavs' play away from home in recent weeks has been mind-boggling. Since Dec. 31, UTA is averaging 80 points per game and shooting 51 percent on the road while scoring 48 points per game on less than 32 percent shooting in Arlington.
Those struggles may have been what drove Scott Cross to drastically alter his lineup for this most recent game, benching Karol Gruszecki, Jordan Reves and Kevin Butler for Shaquille White-Miller, Greg Gainey and freeman Drew Charles.
At the start, there wasn't much improvement offensively, as UTA again shot only 34 percent for the first half. However, a late surge caused them to lead by as many as seven in that half, though they went to halftime tied at 33.
Things started balancing out in the second half. While no one took command individually, the Mavs got seven second-half points from White-Miler, Cameron Catlett and Brandon Edwards. That allowed UTA to lead by as many as nine with just over two minutes left.
Utah State was able to cut that down to four in a little over a minute. Jordan Reves could only split four free throws after that, but it was enough - especially since he also had a huge blocked shot on Ben Clifford with 16 seconds left.
Gruszecki led the Mavs with 14 points off the bench as five players scored in double figures.
UTA will see if they can continue their amazing road streak s they travel to San Jose State for their farthest conference road game in history on Saturday,