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ARLINGTON – Scott Cross brought out a whole new starting lineup tonight, but as far as he was concerned, it wasn’t about how his team started as much as how they finished.

The UTA coach said he told the guys that, even with a 20-point halftime lead, they needed to keep up the intensity and win the second half for the first time in a conference game. The Mavs did just that en route to finishing off Arkansas State 77-50 at the College Park Center.

The 41 percent shooting the Mavs allowed was still nowhere close to as good as the 20 percent they allowed in the first half, and the 12 points in the paint they allowed in the second 20 minutes were three tames what the hallowed in the first. Still, it was a solid improvement from whet they’d especially had seen in the previous two games. It also helped greatly that they kept the Red Wolves off the free throw line; Arkansas State only shot four free throws in the second half.

Though he rolled out the new lineup of Jorge Bilbao, Greg Gainey, Erick Neal, Lonnie McClanahan and Kaelon Wilson, the Mavs regulars still saw plenty of action. Johnny Hill led the Mavs with 14 points, 12 of them coming from the free throw line. Gainey finished with 13 while McClanahan had 12.


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