UT-Arlington (10-5, 3-0) picked up its seventh consecutive victory, holding Sam Houston (6-10, 0-2) to just 33 percent shooting from the floor (16-of-48) and shutting out the Bearkats' leading scorer Konner Tucker.
"Obviously, this wasn't one of our best efforts," Sam Houston head coach Jason Hooten said. "But, with a young team like ours, we're going to have nights like this. UT-Arlington has an excellent ball club and their depth really hurt us down the stretch."
The Mavericks never trailed, building a 28-20 halftime lead and out-scoring the Bearkats 38-20 in the second half.
Marcus James added seven points for the Bearkats. Sam Houston's only returning starter from the Bearkats' 2011 squad, Antuan Bootle, returned to action Wednesday after missing nearly a month and a half with a foot injury.
"It was good to have Antuan back out there," Hooten said. "He played about 10 minutes and will need some time to get back into the flow, but he's going to help us inside."
Sam Houston State now heads to Nicholls State for a 1 p.m. contest at Thibodaux, La., Saturday afternoon.