Lions defeated in a tough OT

In an effort to rebound from losing their first home game of the season on Wednesday, the Lions were looking to continue their dominance on their home floor versus conference foe UT-Arlington (UTA) last Saturday afternoon. In a hard fought game, the Lions would fall to UTA in overtime 68-66.

The Lions got out to an early lead as they forced six Maverick turnovers in the first eight minutes of the contest, converting them into seven points on the offensive end. After a three-pointer by senior guard Gary Dixon, the Lions led 13-5 with 13:04 to go in the first half.

“Gary stepped up a little bit I thought,” said Lions Head Coach Jim Yarbrough.

The Lions continued to pressure the ball on the defensive end and get the ball to the rim on the offensive end. With Dixon hitting another three-pointer with 05:53 left in the half the Lions led by their largest margin of the night, 27-14.

Inside the last five minutes of the first half the Mavericks came to life. After some errant shots by the Lions, the Mavericks went on a a 16-3 run to end the first half highlighted by Bo Ingram knocking down a deep three with time expiring to knot the score 30-30 all at the half.

“We had good looks at the baskets, we moved the ball well most of the time and had shots on the goal,” said Yarbrough. “We did not shoot ourselves into it.”

Coming out of the half with momentum on their side, the Mavericks took their first lead of the night scoring consecutive buckets but the Lions responded with a three ball from senior guard Trent Hutchin. UTA put together a run early in the half increasing their lead 42-35 forcing a Lions timeout.

With their backs against the wall, the Lions responded as raining conference player of the week Brandon Fortenberry knocked down a three and forced a steal on the other end that led to a DeShawn Patterson layup pulling the Lions to within four. The game continued to go back and forth. With 02:40 remaining, the Mavericks led 63-60, and the lions needed a score.

Both teams went scoreless until Lions center David Ndoumba, who converted a traditional three-point play to knot the game 63-63 with 37 seconds remaining. The Mavericks then dribbled the clock down to 9.8 seconds with 8 seconds on the shot clock before calling a timeout.

With time expiring, the Mavericks got off a good look as the shot clock and buzzer sounded, but in a close call the scorer’s table ruled in favor of the Lions with a shot clock violation.

The two teams would have five minutes to settle the score in overtime. The first points of OT came with 02:45 remaining as Fortenberry went one of two from the free-throw line. Ingram would do the same for the Mavericks going one of two tying the score at 64 all.

The Lions took the lead with a layup by senior forward Jason Marks but the Mavericks refused to quit. With the game tied 66-66 inside 30 seconds left to play, the Mavericks Shaqui White Miller missed a contested layup, but Ingram was there for the tip-in with three seconds remaining to seal the deal.

“Its a bitter pill and there’s nothing to be ranting and raving about. Its just very disappointing,” said Yarbrough.