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Gonzaga vs. Texas-Arlington Game Preview: A Three Point Test

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The Mavericks like to shoot from long range, a lot.

NCAA Basketball: North Dakota at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs return home to face the Texas-Arlington Mavericks on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6:00 pm PT.

Gonzaga is coming off their first road win of the season, a dominate 79-49 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies. Admon Gilder and Ryan Woolridge each scored 16 points in the contest, and the Gonzaga defense held Texas A&M to just 0.69 points per possession.

The Mavericks are on the hard stretch of their non-conference slate, owning two consecutive road losses to Nevada and Oregon.

Meet the opponent

UT-Arlington Mavericks, 2-2, KenPom #140

The Mavericks will present an interesting challenge for the Bulldogs’ defense. Texas-Arlington likes to huck up a tremendous amount of three-point shots. They currently rank the highest in the nation for number of three-pointers attempted compared to overall field goal attempts.

Unfortunately, they have been a bit hit or miss from long range this season. Presuming that the Gonzaga defense communicates correctly, the Zags have the length and athleticism to weather the potential barrage. If the Zags give an inch of room, however, it is safe to assume a three-pointer will be the preferred Maverick shot selection.

Head Coach Chris Ogden runs a deep bench, with Texas-Arlington ranked No. 8 in the nation in total bench minutes played, and the wealth of scoring gets spread around. There is no one player the Zags necessarily need to focus on, just try and keep track of all of them.

Overall, it is a question of whether or not the Mavericks will hit all these threes in the first place. As a team, they are shooting just 26 percent from long range.

What to watch out for

The Zags’ frontcourt should absolutely thrive.

Texas-Arlington is one of the shorter teams in the nation, and that won’t bode well against Gonzaga, who boast one of the taller squads. Senior Radshad Davis has seen time at the four-spot, and he stands a towering 6’2. The Zags’ big men should feast in this game, and we should expect virtually every offensive possession to start and end with the big men involved.

Can Corey Kispert get a bit back on track?

Kispert had a performance to forget against Texas A&M, finishing with just three points off of 1-of-10 shooting, including just 1-for-7 from three-point range. It was his first “bad” game of the season. He is one of the more consistent three-point shooters on the team, but he has been in a somewhat rut since the shooting 5-of-6 in the opening game. The past three contests Kispert is shooting just 5-for-19 (26.3%) from long range.