It’s always a surprise when an unbeaten team beats itself. The No. 12 Saint Mary’s Gaels committed 16 turnovers Thursday night as they fell at home 65-51 against UT Arlington. Though the Mavericks committed 15 turnovers themselves, they also outscored Saint Mary’s 23-8 on points off turnovers.
Here are some more takeaways from the game:
UT Arlington’s got some vintage Stephen F. Austin in them
Remember when Stephen F. Austin beat West Virginia in March Madness last year? Thomas Walkup’s stellar shooting aside, the Lumberjacks beat Bob Huggins’ defensive squad due by matching them stop-for-stop. They had 11 steals in that game and the Mavericks had 10 on Thursday. Forwards Jorge Bilbao and Kevin Hervey combined for five steals, while Nathan Hawkins pitched in six rebounds off the bench. The trio made Saint Mary’s’ versatile offense look programmed and bland.
Jock Landale needs to get hot
Saint Mary’s is a strong offensive team, but it all starts and ends with Landale. He was 3-10 and in foul trouble for the latter part of the game. He plays best when he gets the ball in the paint and can get to the line. While he did manage to go 7-9 from the stripe, he also committed five turnovers.
The Gaels live and die by the three
Calvin Hermanson made seven threes against Stanford. Thursday, he went 1-7. Guards Evan Fitzner and Joe Rahon went a combined 4-10 from the arc. It certainly makes sense for the Gaels to keep taking chances, but in games like this, they may need another approach.
Erick Neal and Hervey are quite the duo.
UT Arlington’s got a guard in the mold of Chris Paul and when Hervey is fully recovered from ACL surgery, he’ll surely have his Blake Griffin. Neal is not only an extremely steady defender, but contributed eight assists to the Mavericks’ offense, many of them to Hervey. The duo scored 28 out of UTA’s 65 points and Hervey shot particularly well, going 5-8. Imagine what this team will be like in March. I’ll say it right now: the Mavericks are one team no one will want to play.