ATLANTA, Ga. -- The UT Arlington men's basketball team battled a motivated Georgia State team for 40 minutes but dropped a narrow 75-81 decision to the Panthers Thursday night in GSU Sports Arena.
The Mavericks led for nearly 22 minutes and by as many as eight first half points, but were unable to overcome a 29-point effort by the Sun Belt's leading scorer, D'Marcus Simonds, and dropped to 13-9 on the season and 4-5 in league play.
UTA returns to action Saturday with a 4 p.m. (CST) tipoff at Georgia Southern, which fell 62-61 to Texas State tonight in Statesboro.
Georgia State improved to 15-6 for the year and 6-2 against Sun Belt competition and moved one-half game behind Texas State for second place in the league standings. GSU hosts the Bobcats Saturday night.
UTA junior Kevin Hervey, the second-leading scorer in the Sun Belt, led the Mavericks with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Kaelon Wilson scored 21 points with 8 rebounds. Erick Neal was the only other UTA player in double figures with a 12-point, 8 assist performance.
Maverick graduate transfer Johnny Hamilton is quickly making his name in the UTA record books for blocked shots, registering seven blocks at GSU - the third-highest single game total in program history.
After Simonds made a 3-point field goal to give GSU an early 10-9 lead, UTA went on a quick 9-0 run to take an 18-10 lead with 10:45 remaining. The Panthers chipped away at the lead, eventually tying the game at 19-apiece with 7:50 left in the half. Nathan Hawkins made a 3-point field goal to put UTA back ahead by five points before GSU cut the lead to just two points, 30-28, going into the break.
UTA started the second half brightly, going ahead by 7 points on a Hervey rebound and tip-in early in the half. The Mavericks' lead remained no more than four points until Georgia State took the lead for good when Jeff Thomas scored on a layup to put the Panthers ahead 54-53 with 8:10 left in the game.
A Simonds basket with 2:54 left gave GSU a 9-point lead before the Mavericks came alive offensively. Wilson, Neal and Hervey each connected on a 3-pointer but UTA was unable to prevent the Panthers from scoring on the other end and trailed by 8 points before Davion Turner provided the final margin with a pair of free throws with :08 seconds remaining.
PURCHASE UTA HOME GAME TICKETS
Single game, group and specially-priced multi-game ticket packages to attend UTA men and women's basketball events are on sale through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online through UTATickets.com. Single game tickets are priced at $8, $12 and $25 per game, depending on seat location. UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 per game. Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.
SPECIAL TICKET PACKAGES
Specially-priced Sun Belt game ticket packages are available for the remainder of the season through the UTA Box Office. The Sun Belt Fun Pack provides a tickets for every league men and women's game for just $45 per seat, while the Sun Belt Saturday Family Four Pack includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four small sodas for just $40 per game. The Sun Belt 3-Point Thursdays provides a ticket, small popcorn and small soda for just $10 per game.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA basketball programs on Twitter at @UTA_MBB and @LadyMavHoops.
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