The University of Arkansas at Little Rock showed off a different gear Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans used 26 points from senior guard Ben Coupet Jr., a double-double from senior forward Ruot Monyyong and a 49-point second half to overcome a disjointed start, topping Texas-Arlington 75-62 at the Jack Stephens Center. The game was a stark departure from the Trojans' uptempo 102-93 victory 24 hours earlier.
The win proves UALR (6-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) has more than one way to achieve victory.
"We held serve," Coach Darrell Walker said. "We took care of home. You've got to take care of home, man. Now the fun really begins on the road."
The Trojans rode a 25-7 second-half run to victory in their second game against the Mavericks (4-6, 0-2) in as many days. Freshman guard Marko Andric -- substituting for Markquis Nowell, who missed his second game in a row for an unspecified disciplinary reason -- scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Monyyong's 18-point, 15-rebound performance marked his fifth double-double of the season.
UALR junior forward Nikola Maric turned the ball over 7 times, but he also posted 15 points with 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Shahada Wells led the Mavericks with 22 points on 7-of-20 shooting.
The Trojans led 26-25 at halftime and switched to a 1-3-1 defense to stymie Texas-Arlington, which shot 33% after the break. After Wells tied the game at 29-29, UALR pulled away with a 25-7 over the next 7:17. Coupet's three-pointer put the Trojans up 54-36 with 9:07 left.
"They had trouble with our 1-3-1, for sure," Monyyong said. "They had trouble with that because of our length."
The Trojans' big second half followed a sloppy opening 20 minutes in which UALR reached double-digit turnovers and Texas-Arlington committed 12 fouls while shooting 10 of 33 from the field.
"It was pretty ugly," Mavericks Coach Chris Ogden said.
Texas-Arlington opened aggressively, pressing the Trojans' ball handlers into 11 first-half turnovers. Despite a size advantage, UALR scored just 12 first-half points in the paint as Mavericks defenders flocked inside.
Wells hit 3 three-pointers to help give the Mavericks a 16-9 advantage, but Texas-Arlington did little with the Trojans' 11 first-half turnovers, turning them into only five points.
Coupet scored on a pair of free throws and three-pointer, and Isaiah Palermo's three-point play put UALR ahead 19-18 at the 6:24 mark. It was nip-and-tuck the rest of the half.
"I'm just glad they didn't capitalize on those turnovers," Walker said. "I told my team before the game that they were going to come out very aggressive. Wasn't any doubt in my mind."
Coupet again led UALR in scoring, finishing a point shy of the career-high 27 he scored in Friday's win. He made 17 of 22 shots (77.3%) in the two-game set with Texas-Arlington.
"Give him his credit," Walker said. "He's stepped up offensively. And he's done it within the offense, which has been great."
UALR disrupted the Mavericks' offensive rhythm and held them to 2-of-13 shooting over the decisive 7:17 stretch of the second half.
Andric opened the 25-7 run with points on four consecutive possessions, sinking a two midrange jumpers, a corner three-pointer and a pair of free throws for nine points.
"You have to give some credit to little Marko Andric," Walker said. "I thought he was really really good off the bench. He really blew the game open for us with those shots he made and his play-making ability."
The Trojans won different and won ugly Saturday, sweeping a weekend set without Nowell, their leading scorer entering the weekend at 17 points per game.
"I think the Sun Belt championship runs through them," Ogden said of the Trojans. "They have a group of guys that have been together. They know who they are. They know what they do."