Gameday: USA vs Georgia State

November 30, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 


South Alabama will face another new Sun Belt member in Georgia State today. However, GSU is not an unfamiliar foe as they started their football programs a year apart and the Panthers, then coached by Bill Curry, received lots of press coverage due to his affiliation with ESPN as a broadcaster prior to returning to the coaching ranks.

Curry retired after the 2012 season and Trent Miles was hired as his replacement and his first season at the helm has not gone very well. The Panthers are 0-11 going into their final game of the season attempting to avoid a winless season. And what a way to get their first win of the season by getting it on Senior Day in the Georgia Dome.

GSU ranks last in the conference in nine categories (scoring offense, rushing offense, rushing defense, kickoff converage, sacks, sacks allowed, opponent’s third-down conversions, opponent’s penalties and time of possession). They are seventh out of eight in 10 other categories.

However, the last few games have seen the Panthers come close against their competition as they played Troy very tough and held a sizable lead on Arkansas State early but a missed two-point conversion was the difference in the game.

GSU’s Albert Wilson is the player to watch for the Panthers. He is first in the Conference in receiving yards per game (97.8), is tied for first in receptions per game (5.9), is second in all-purpose yards per game (192.3), fifth in punt return average (6.1) and fifth in kickoff return average (23.5).

Head coach Joey Jones has said that the Pathers have improved from the beginning of the year till now. Looking at the film, they can tell they will be playing a better team than the numbers indication on the surface.

South Alabama enters the game with a 4-6 record overall and 2-3 record in Sun Belt play. The Jags need this game to keep their hopes alive for bowl eligibility.

USA played probably their best game of the season so far against Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday. They played consistent throughout the game from the beginning to the end and the defense recorded a school-record nine sacks.

The South Alabama defense will have to stay close to Albert Wilson and limit his big-play ability that can change a game in an instant. Conversely, USA relies on Shavarez Smith’s big play ability to do the same thing for the Jags.

If the Jags get off to a fast start will that cause Georgia State to fold in their season finale? Doubtful since it is Senior Day, but the Jags have historically done much better if they get off to an early start.

Will last week’s game be the trend for the rest of the season? We will see beginning at 1pm CST when the Jags and the Panthers kick off in the Georgia Dome. and 105.5FM WNSP will be airing the game live with play-by-play by the long-time voice of the Jaguars Lee Shirvanian and color analysis by Rick Cleveland. Video of the game can be seen on as well.

Go Jags!

Happy Thanksgiving #JagNation

November 28, 2013 · By · Filed Under Uncategorized · Comment 

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday Press Conference

November 27, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 


South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones held his weekly press conference on Monday to reflect on the Jaguars win against Louisiana-Monroe and to preview their game against Georgia State in Atlanta.

Jones was joined by center Matt Calcagnini and linebacker Enrique Williams. The following are highlights from his time with the media.

Coach Jones talked about what he and the team can take from their win over ULM as they move on to Georgia State. “I was very proud of our guys and how they fought in this ball game. They showed what their true character is all about. I challenged them during the week that their character would be revealed through this and good things happened. Obviously we have momentum now, we’re going to play a good Georgia State team this week and still have a chance to get in a bowl. There is always hope when you have that. We have two more games and we want to finish strong.”

He also spoke about how important it is to have momentum from the ULM win going forward. “I think that game was critical for us, it was a do-or-die stage to be honest with you. I put it on my coaches, I told them we have to win this ball game because I’m tired of losing a game on the last play and talking about how close we are. We did that, and I am so proud of how we prepared. I think it’s going to do nothing but help us the last two weeks. You’re worried about your preparation, and we have prepared, but it was nice to walk away with a ‘W’ on the scoreboard. I thought our kids played a pretty complete game, offensively, defensively and on special teams.”

Jones then turned his focus on Georgia State as he answered a question about whether the Panthers are a dangerous team. “They have gotten a lot better. One thing you look at with a team is how they performed early in the year and late in the year to see what is going on with them, and they are 100 percent better now than they were then. They took Troy down to the wire, they took Arkansas State down to the wire. All we have to do is watch the film and we know we are playing a heck of a ball team that has really improved. They’ve done a great job coaching and they have good athletes.”

“I think you can take anybody in our league, other than Louisiana-Lafayette, who is a little bit above everybody else in talent and the way they are playing, put us in a bag, shake us up, pour us out on the table and we’re all about the same. It’s going to be a big challenge this week.”

Jones then talked about some areas where Georgia State has shown the most improvement. “Their consistency on offense, they are scoring more points. Early in the year they weren’t scoring very many points, but the quarterback is doing a good job throwing the football and they probably have the best receiver in the league, if not the best, he’s in the top three, in Albert Wilson. They are doing a good job of getting the ball into people’s hands who need to have it, and adjusting and growing as the season has gone along.”

He was then asked about aspects that stick out on film concerning Georgia State. “At the beginning of the year it looked like they were distributing the ball to different people and it seems like now they are more intent on getting the ball into people’s hands who can make plays. And they’re just executing better, their line is blocking better than they were earlier in the year, they have just made a lot of improvements.”

Center Matt Calcagnini first talked about the team’s mindset as they go into their game against Georgia State. “We can’t take this team lightly. We still have our goal in tact to become bowl-eligible. Our season is not over by any means. We can still win out this season and become bowl-eligible, which was one of our goals at the beginning of the year.”

He talked about the ULM game. “During the week we knew we had a three-game losing streak, and knew what we had to do. If we wanted to be a bowl-eligible team, we have to win the last three games. I feel like we brought a little more fire to practice throughout the week and brought it to the game. There was a lot of great energy on the sideline, and we just executed great.”

He then spoke about Georgia State. “It is going to be their Senior Night. They don’t want to go into the offseason without a win, so we feel like they’re going to throw everything they possibly can at us to get the win. We just have to play our football and execute to a high level like we know we can do.”

He also talked about how their win over Louisiana-Monroe will help with their confidence. “It broke our losing streak. We were on a three-game losing streak, and it was something that we needed to do. We needed to execute and win that game. We need to finish out the season strong like we did that game.”

Linebacker Enrique Williams talked about the team’s mindset as they prepare for Georgia State. “As a team we know what we have to do. Everyone is focused on getting bowl-eligible, so we know we have to come out and play hard and finish these last two games.”

He spoke about the ULM game. “The energy was a lot higher than the previous games. The preparation wasn’t too much different, we prepare hard every week. But it just finally clicked together and everybody was on the same page.”

He also spoke about Georgia State. “I know they’re going to come out with a lot of different looks. This is their last game, so I know they are going to try and throw everything at us that they can to try and end the season with a victory.”

Williams talked about how the win over ULM helped their confidence going into this game. “It was important because we prepared hard, just like every other week. It was nice to finally see it pay off. We’ve lost some tough, close games so to win this one was great for our team to build off of going into this week.”

Williams also talked about the 2011 meeting between the Jags and the Panthers. The Jags lost the game in overtime in Atlanta. “It kind of left us with a chip on our shoulder. We were expecting to win going in to that game, and we just couldn’t get it done. We just have to come out fighting and play hard to bring home a victory this weekend.”

South Alabama and Georgia State kickoff at 1pm on Saturday in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The game can be heard on 105.5 FM and and can be viewed on ESPN3.

Non-AQ Top Ten 11-25-2013

November 26, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Fresno State has slightly opened their lead over Northern Illinois in this week’s Non-AQ Top Ten. BYU fell one spot after losing at Notre Dame moving East Carolina up to third place. Louisiana-Lafayette moved up one spot to sixth place after Boise State suffered their fourth loss of the season. Marshall moved back into the top ten at number 7. Bowling Green moved up from 10 to 8 and Buffalo moved back into the top ten at the number 10 position. North Texas and Toledo both fell out of the top ten.

Non-AQ Top 10
StateĀ (8)
Illinois (4)

Dropped from rankings: North Texas, Toledo,

Others receiving votes: Rice 16, Toledo 9, San Diego State 8,
Navy 6, Arkansas State 5, Utah State 5, .

Kickoff Time Announced For South Alabama Vs Louisiana-Lafayette

November 26, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 


University of South Alabama Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann announced the kickoff time of the regular season finale on December 7 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Sun Belt Conference leader Louisiana-Lafayette. The Jags and the Ragin’ Cajuns will kickoff at 7pm CST on Saturday, December 7th in a game that will be featured on ESPN3.

Lafayette has an opportunity to clinch the SBC Title on Saturday when they play in-state rival Louisiana-Monroe. ULL are 8-2 overall and 5-0 in SBC play.

Meanwhile, South Alabama will travel to Atlanta to face Georgia State in the Georgia Dome in a 1pm CST kickoff. The Jags are fighting for bowl eligibility and needing to win both of their remaining games to be bowl eligible in their first season as a full FBS member. The Jaguars enter the game with an overall record of 4-6 and 2-3 against Sun Belt foes.

Georgia State looks to win their final game of the season in order to avoid a winless season. The Panthers want to win the game on Saturday to avoid a winless season as they are 0-11 on the season. Though they are playing their best football of the season right now as they narrowly fell to Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Arkansas on Saturday 35-33.

USA Men’s Basketball Win Two Of Three In CBE Classic Over Weekend

November 26, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 
Senior Augustine Rubit prepares to defend a Southern Miss player as they inbound the ball in the Jaguars loss to Southern Miss on Friday.

Senior Augustine Rubit prepares to defend a Southern Miss player as they inbound the ball in the Jaguars loss to Southern Miss on Friday.

The South Alabama men’s basketball team played three games in three days for the CBE Classic held at the Mitchell Center. During the course of the weekend, the team went 2-1.

Southern Miss

On Friday night the Jaguars hosted Southern Miss to open their play in the CBE Classic. They started the game very well after USM scored the first three points of the game, but once the Jaguars took the lead, they did not look back for the remainder of the half.

With 6:57 left in the half, the Jags led by their largest margin yet with a 26-16 advantage, but USM would go on an 11-2 run in over a three minute span to cut USA’s lead to one point. They would manage to get the lead out to six points going into the locker room for halftime.

The Jags opened the second half with an 8-2 run then after an Antoine Allen trey, they led 53-40 with 10:42 left in the game. But the Golden Eagles would respond with 13-straight points with half of them coming from the charity stripe, to tie the game.

Rubit would sink one of two free throws on the other end of the court to regain the lead, but it was short as USM’s next trip down the floor they retook the lead, then extended it to four with a three-pointer with 2:47 left to play.

All-in-all, Southern Miss ended the game with a 26-6 run over the final 10-minutes of the game to defeat the Jaguars 66-59.

Augustine Rubit scored nine of his 17 points in the second half but only one point came in the final 10 minutes of play. Allen added 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc.

Wright State

The Jags returned to play on Saturday afternoon against Wright State and pulled out a 74-70 win behind Rubit’s 23 points and 13 rebounds while setting a new school record for career rebounds. He passed Terry Catledge with his 933rd career rebound in the first half and finished the game with 940 when the game ended. That number moves him into third all-time in Sun Belt Conference history as well.

This was Rubit’s 44th double-double of his career and his second of the season.

Houston Baptist

The men’s basketball team opened the second half with a 16-2 run to open up a huge lead to cruise to a 79-59 win over Houston Baptist on Sunday to end their play in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

After halftime, the Jaguar defense zeroed in on their opponents and did not allow HBU an opportunity to get back into the game as they forced them to miss 13 of their first 14 shots in the second half and forced four turnovers in the first eight minutes of the half.

Ken Williams started a 10-0 run which was capped off by Dionte Ferguson when he scored five-consecutive points. Austin Karazsia added a triple during the run as well to help the Jags open up a 29 point advantage with 11:14 left in the game.

Augustine Rubit led all players with 17 points and 13 rebounds for back-to-back double-doubles. He scored 14 of those points in the first 12 minutes of play. Barrington Stevens III ended the game with a team-high four assists, part of a 12-assist effort.

The Jags only had seven turnovers the entire game, the fewest since they recorded seven turnovers at Denver on February 20, 2011.

Rubit’s march up the record books continued as he moved into third place in USA career free throw attempts with 605.

South Alabama will have the week off until they host former Sun Belt Conference rival Middle Tennessee State on Saturday. The game will tip off at noon and will be carried on CSS TV.

Jags Defeat ULM Behind Solid Defensive Effort

November 25, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Teammates celebrate with Ross Metheny after his 63-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter against Louisiana-Monroe.

Teammates celebrate with Ross Metheny after his 63-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter against Louisiana-Monroe.

The University of South Alabama football team kept their bowl chances alive after a record-setting defensive effort against the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The team set a school record with nine sacks in the contest with Pat Moore and Montavious Williams each collecting 2.5 sacks and allowing a season-low 274 yards in the 36-14 win.

Ross Metheny also became the first Jaguar in school history to throw and rush for over 100 yards in a single game as the threw for 194 yards and rushed for 128 yards on 16 carries, including a game-sealing 63 yard scamper down the left sidelines in the fourth quarter for a touchdown.

The win improves the Jaguars record to 4-6 overall and 2-3 in Sun Belt play while snapping a three-game losing skid. The Warhawks fell to 5-6 overall and 3-3 in SBC play, their second-consecutive loss.

The Jaguars first two scores came off the toe of redshirt freshman Aleem Sunanon. His first came with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the first quarter when he connected on a 43 yard kick to cap off an eight-play drive that began with a 17 yard rush by Metheny.

On the Jaguars next possession, Metheny would connect with Shavarez Smith for a 43 yard reception to set up the second field goal. With about three-and-a-half minutes left in the first quarter, Sunanon connected from 45 yards out to give South Alabama a 6-0 advantage.

ULM took the lead after an 11-play, 80 yard drive when Kolton Browning caught the Jaguars blitzing and split the defenders and scampered in from six yard out with two-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter.

However the Jaguars would respond. Just over three-minutes later, Metheny found Shavarez Smith again, this time for a 29-yard touchdown where the defender initially had the ball, but Smith took it away to secure the touchdown. The drive was highlighted not only by Smith’s catch, but a 17 yard completion from Metheny to Jereme Jones and also a reverse to Jake Howton who threw a 13-yard completion to Metheny to keep the drive alive. The point-after attempt was fumbled so the Jaguar lead was 12-7.
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USA Vs Lousiana-Monroe: By The Numbers

November 22, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 


The University of South Alabama Jaguar football team (3-6 overall, 1-3 SBC) will kickoff against conference foe Louisiana-Monroe (5-5 overall, 3-2 SBC) at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday at 6:00pm. They are coming off of a 42-14 loss at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and are in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Navy rushed for 351 yards against the Jaguars in the triple-option offense.

ULM is also returning to action after a 42-14 loss of their own to Arkansas State which snapped their three-game winning streak.

Lets take a look at how the two teams stack up in terms of Sun Belt statistics. It should be noted that the Jags have played nine games this season while the rest of the conference have played 10 games, excluding Troy who has played 11 games so far this season.

The scoring offense category sees the Jags ranked fifth in the conference with an average of 27.7 points per game while the Warhawks are ranked seventh with an average of 22.2 points per game this season.

In scoring defense, South Alabama ranks 5th by allowing an average of 29.2 points per game while ULM is right behind them with an average of 29.8 points per game allowed to their opponents.

Total Offense again have the Jags and Warhawks ranked back to back. South Alabama has the edge in 5th place with an average of 421.9 yards per game of total offense. ULM ranks 6th with an average of 365.6 yards per game of total offense. That’s a difference of over 50 yards per game between the two.

Breaking down the total offensive yards, the Jags rank 5th in the conference by gaining an average of 158 yards on the ground per game. ULM ranks 7th with an average of 128.1 yards per game rushing. Meanwhile the Jags rank 3rd in the conference in passing offense with an average of 263.9 yards passing per game. ULM ranks 5th with an average of 237.5 yards per game passing.

The Jags rank 5th in the conference in passing efficiency with a rating of 129.7 while ULM ranks last in the conference, 8th, with a rating of 110.7.

Looking to the other side of the ball we see USA and ULM ranked back-to-back again. The Jags rank 5th in the conference in total defense by allowing an average of 420 yards per game. ULM comes in right behind them in 6th place by allowing 422.7 yards per game of total offense.

Breaking down the total offense stat, we see ULM ranking 6th in the conference in rushing defense allowing an average of 188.7 yards per game on the ground. The Jags rank right behind them in 7th place by allowing an average of 194.7 yards per game on the ground.

Pass defense sees South Alabama fare a bit better as they rank 2nd in the conference in pass defense by allowing an average of 225.3 yards per game through the air. The Warhawks rank 4th in the conference allowing an average of 234 yards per game through the air.

Pass defense efficiency sees ULM rank 2nd in the conference with opponents pass efficency rating being 122.3. USA ranks 5th in the conference with opponents pass efficency rating of 137.1.

Now we turn to special teams. The Jags rank 3rd in the conference in kickoff returns with an average of 22.2 yards per return. ULM ranks 5th with an average of 20.5 yards per kickoff return. Though the Jags fare worse in punt return average where they are dead last in the conference with an average of 6.1 yards per punt return. ULM ranks 4th with an average punt return of 9.7 yards.

South Alabama average 35.4 yards per punt which is good for 6th place in the conference. ULM ranks 2nd in the conference with an average of 39.0 yards per punt.

South Alabama ranks 4th in the conference in field goals by making 68.8% of their kicks. USA is 11-for-16 on the season through nine games. ULM ranks last in the conference by making 50% of their field goal attempts. They are 4-of-8 on the season through eight games.

ULM is tied for 3rd place in defensive interceptions this season with nine. The Jags are in a tie for 5th place with 8 interceptions through nine games.

The Jags are 2nd in the conference in defensive sacks with 22 through nine games. ULM ranks 7th in the conference with only 13 sacks through 10 games.

While the Jaguar offense has given up the fewest sacks on the season with 14 through 9 games. ULM ranks 3rd by allowing 16 sacks through 10 games.

South Alabama and ULM are neck-and-neck in 3rd down conversion rates. USA converts 37.5% of their 3rd down opportunities while the Warhawks convert 37.2% of their 3rd down opportunities.

Defensively, ULM ranks 1st in the conference in opponents 3rd down conversion rate by allowing their opponents to convert only 35.8% of their attempts. The Jags rank 4th by allowing opponents to convert 41.3% of the time.

The Warhawks ranks 1st in the conference in penalties with an average of 40.4 yards per game of penalties. The Jags rank 3rd with 45.9 yards per game of penalties. Though the two are tied with 51 penalties each.

Lousiana-Monroe and the Jaguars are again back-to-back this time in time of possession. ULM averages 29:17 per game which is good for 6th place in the conference. The Jags are 7th place with an average time of possession of 28:55 per game.

Turnover margin is in South Alabama’s favor as they are even on the season, 11 gained and 11 lost. Meanwhile ULM ranks 6th with a -8 turnover margin. They have gained 15 from opponents while losing 23 balls, 14 of them interceptions.

USA ranks 6th in the conference in red zone offense by converting 28-37 opportunities into points for an average of 75.7%. ULM ranks last, 8th place, in the conference by scoring on 21-of=34 times in the red zone for an average of 61.8%.

Red zone defense is polar opposites for the two teams. ULM ranks 1st in the conference by allowing opponents to score 26-of-35 times in the red zone for an average of 74.3%. South Alabama ranks 8th, dead last, in the conference by allowing opponents to score 32-of-37 times in the red zone for an average of 86.5%.

Wes Saxton may be able to suit up for the game after a sprained ankle suffered against Navy.

The game will be televised on ESPN3 and the Sun Belt Network. Audio play-by-play will also be available from wnsp on 105.5FM and from their website

USA Volleyball’s Season Ends In Quarterfinals Of SBC Tournament

November 22, 2013 · By · Filed Under Sun Belt Conference, Volleyball · Comment 


The Jaguar volleyball team saw it’s season come to an end in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Championships on Thursday. Texas-Arlington defeated the Jags 3-0 (18-25, 23-25, 21-25) to advance to the semifinal round.

The Jaguars finish the season with a 14-15 record, the most wins since 1995, and making it to the conference tournament after beginning the season with an 0-5 conference record and a 1-7 record through their first eight conference games. They fought hard down the stretch to earn a #5 seed to the conference tournament.

UT-Arlington improves to 18-14 on the season and will face #8 seeded Troy who upset #1 seeded Western Kentucky 3-0.

Mechell Daniel ends her freshman season with 423 kills, the most by a Jaguar freshman and sixth most in single season history. Fellow freshman phenom Jessica Lewis fell short of her third double-double of the season as they ended the match with 13 kills and nine digs.

Another freshman, Abby Baker, finished with 14 digs for the Jags as well.

Jenna Hassell is the only listed senior on the team. She missed the season with a knee injury. She ranks fourth in USA’s career digs list with 1,242 and leads the program in career digs average with 3.76.

JagNation is proud of what the Volleyball team has accomplished this season. They turned around a tough season that was hampered by injuries and made it to the conference tournament. Thank you ladies for your hard work this season and we look forward to next season.

Go Jags!

USA Volleyball Freshmen Daniel and Lewis Earn Postseason Honors

November 21, 2013 · By · Filed Under Sun Belt Conference, Volleyball · Comment 
Freshman Mechell Daniel was named Sun Belt Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season. This is the sixth consecutive week a Jaguar has earned the honor. She also made Sun Belt History by being the first honoree to earn Freshman of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week honors in the same week. Photo by Brad Puckett |

Freshman Mechell Daniel was named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and named to the First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference team on Wednesday. Photo by Brad Puckett |

Jessica Lewis earned her second Freshman of the Week honor this season. Photo by Brad Puckett |

Jessica Lewis earned a place on the Second-Team All-Sun Belt Team on Wednesday. Photo by Brad Puckett |

As the Jaguar women’s volleyball team prepares for their quarterfinal match against Texas-Arlington in the Sun Belt Championships being held in Troy, Alabama the Jags had a pair of freshmen honored.

Freshman opposite side/outside hitter Mechell Daniel was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Freshman of the Year while also picking up first-team All-Conference honors. Fellow freshman outside hitter Jessica Lewis earned second-team All-Sun Belt honors.

The selection were announced Wednesday evening at the Conference’s pre-tournament banquet. The 16-member teams were selected by the 10 conference coaches. Daniel was the first first-team All-SBC team since 1995. This is also the first time since 2000 that the Jags have placed two student-athletes on all-conference teams.

Daniel, a 6’2″ freshman from Chelmsford, England, is only the second player to be named as an individual award winner. The previous was Marei Lirette who named the conference’s Player of the Year. Daniel’s 411 kills are the most ever by a freshman at South Alabama and also ranks as seventh-most in a single season as they head into the conference tournament. She also led the Jags and ranked third in the Sun Belt in both kills (3.83), and points (4.33) per set. Against conference foes she averaged 4.03 kills per set.

Daniel earned 14 double-doubles on the year with 13 of them came against conference foes and posted double figures in kills in 23 of her matches including a career-high 28 against Troy last month. That was her fourth 20-plus match of the season.

Daniel was selected as the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Week on a conference-best four occasions this season and became the first conferecne player to ever be named both the top freshman and offensive player of the week.

Lewis, a Huntsville, Alabama native, came in and ranked fifth in the conference in kills (3.38) and points (3.78). She was also named the SBC Freshman of the week three times, second most to Daniel in the conference. She also earned the honor in back-to-back weeks.

Even though she missed four weeks of the season and 10 matches due to a foot injury but she still managed to record 247 kills. She earned two double-doubles during the season including a career-best 20-kill, 10-dig match in a near upset of regular season champion Western Kentucky. She led the Jags 10-times and posted double figured in 16 of her 18 matches played. She also had eight matches of 15 or more kills.

The fifth-seeded Jaguars will face the fourth-seeded Mavericks of Texas-Arlington at 5pm.

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