Chris Ogden’s second season in Arlington hasn’t gone as planned but the Mavericks have been among the most battle-tested teams in the country. UT Arlington has won just four of its first nine games and only two of those wins came against Division I opponents. Yet according to KenPom, they’ve still played the 21st-toughest non-conference schedule to this point in the season. Fresh of their first road win, the Gauchos enter with a 5-3 record through their first eight games. Can UC Santa Barbara make it two in a row on the road against UT Arlington on Saturday?
Gauchos extend winning streak to four gamesThe Gauchos won their fourth straight game on Tuesday, beating Cal State Bakersfield 64-60 at the Icardo Center. Neither team led by more than six points on the night, as senior big man Matt Freeman led the team with 19 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. UC Santa Barbara shot 8-for-18 from beyond the arc as a team and 16-for-23 from the charity stripe to pull away with the win.
Joe Pastarnack’s squad comes into the weekend slotted at No. 164 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 5-3 start. This game ranks as a Tier-B contest for UC Santa Barbara, which has lost its first two games against quality opponents (Oregon State & UCLA) so far this season. The Gauchos have scored 103.8 points per 100 possessions (92nd in the NCAA) for the season while turning the ball over on 18.4 percent of their offensive possessions (101st in the NCAA). They do most of their damage from inside the arc, where they have gotten 54.4 percent of their total points (95th in the NCAA) for the season. Through eight games, UC Santa Barbara has shot 55.9 percent from 2-point range (25th in the NCAA) but only 31.3 percent from distance (226th in the NCAA).
Getting stops on defense has been a different story for the Gauchos, who have given up 104.0 points per 100 possessions (272nd in the NCAA) this season. UC Santa Barbara has gotten torched from beyond the arc, as opposing teams have shot a blistering 36.8 percent (292nd in the NCAA) against the Gauchos defense so far this year.
Mavericks fall short vs. North TexasSenior guard Brian Warren scored 18 points but it wasn’t enough as UT Arlington fell 77-66 versus North Texas on Monday night. David Azore added 17 points for the Mavericks, who shot 41.8 percent from the field to lose for the second time in three games.
Ogden’s squad enters Saturday’s matchup ranked No. 131 in the latest KenPom rankings despite posting a losing record through their first nine contests. The Mavericks have scored 100.4 points per 100 possessions (160th in the NCAA) but they’ve mostly struggled on the offensive end to this point. UT Arlington takes care of the basketball and they convert on their opportunities from the charity stripe but they have not shot the ball efficiently this season. They have turned the ball over on only 16.7 percent of their offensive possessions (48th in the NCAA) and shot 74.4 percent from the free-throw line (63rd in the NCAA). However, the Mavericks have connected on only 45.2 percent of their shots from inside the arc (275thin the NCAA) and 31.0 percent of their attempts from long-range (239th in the NCAA) through nine games.
On defense, the Mavericks have given up 98.1 points per 100 possessions while limiting opposing teams to just 46.3 percent from 2-point range (103rd in the NCAA).