UALR Gameday: Slowing Mitchell a priority as Trojans host UNT

North Texas
7 p.m. tonight
Jack Stephens Center
Vegas says: UALR by 3.5
It’s a pretty simple scenario for UALR. Win either tonight vs. North Texas or Saturday vs. Arkansas State and claim the outright Sun Belt Conference West Division championship and a No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament. Lose both and they’ll need some help.
It starts at 7 p.m. tonight as the Trojans host North Texas and NBA prospect Tony Mitchell at the Jack Stephens Center. North Texas can still claim a first-round bye but might have to win both games this week to do it (they play at Denver on Sunday).

In Sun Belt Conference play, which UALR Trojan leads the team in three-point field goal percentage?
In Sun Belt Conference play, North Texas’ Tony Mitchell leads the Mean Green in points, field goals, field goal attempts, field-goal percentage, three-point percentage, free throws, free-throw attempts, rebounds, offensive rebounds, blocked shots and steals. He also leads in turnovers and personal fouls.

BTH Keys to Victory
ATTACK MITCHELL: North Texas’ Tony Mitchell is really good. You have to get him off the court by getting him into foul trouble. The only way that’s happening is by attacking him on offense. He’s the Sun Belt’s best shot blocker, and he’s going to block some shots. But you have to take that chance. Mitchell averages 33.1 minutes and 2.38 fouls in North Texas’ Sun Belt wins. He averages 26.3 minutes and3.83 fouls in North Texas’ losses.
GET IN LINE: This goes along with the attack. North Texas allows opponents to shoot just 38.8 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from three-point range. UALR has got to make up some of that difference at the free throw line.
SLOW AND STEADY: No, we’re not talking about walking the ball up the court. But UALR also can’t afford to play at breakneck speed. North Texas is 4-10 when scoring 69 or fewer points.
BE AWARE: North Texas is far from a one-man team. Alzee Williams has a 29-point game, Roger Franklin and Jacob Holman 20-point games and Brandan Walton a 19-point game. Add to it that Tyler Hall has been in double figures the past two games. UALR can’t let both Mitchell and somebody else post career numbers and expect to win.
Vegas, baby
UALR goes in as a 3.5-point favorite, basically the statistical home-court advantage. UALR was a 6.5-point underdog the last time the teams met in Denton, Texas. This marks the sixth time that UALR has been Vegas favored. The Trojans are 5-1 in those games.
If it's close, CBS almost always picks against UALR. Jeff Sagarin now has the overall lead by percentage points over Omni Rankings:
  • Jeff Sagarin (18-9): UALR 75, North Texas 73
  • Omni Rankings (14-8): UALR 68, North Texas 62
  • The Sports Network (17-10): UALR 67, North Texas 62
  • CBS Sportsline (17-10): North Texas 68, UALR 67
  • Real Time RPI (15-12): UALR 69, North Texas 61
  • Combination: UALR 69, North Texas 66
Trivia answer
D’Andre Williams leads UALR at 45 percent (18 of 40) during Sun Belt Conference play. Will Neighbour is second at 24 of 54 for 44.4 percent.