Coastal Carolina (11-14, 5-7 Sun Belt) 80, UT Arlington (15-10, 6-6 Sun Belt) 87
Saturday, February 3, 2018
College Park Center o Arlington, Texas
UTA Head Coach Scott Cross
Opening thoughts on the win: "Big win, obviously, since Coastal Carolina beat us by 25 when we played them earlier this year. It was an awesome night for our guys. I think it started with Johnny Hamilton, he's the birthday boy today. And he came out and had 20 points 13 rebounds and only took 9 shots. He played tough and we needed it. They're a tough, physical team. Another thing we did a good job of was taking care of the basketball. We set a goal after last game that we would hold our turnovers to 12 or less. We didn't do it vs Appalachian State but we did it tonight and I think that played a big part in the win. As well as us getting to the free throw line, that's been a pleasant surprise over the last two games. We've been aggressive and it's paid off. And then Davion Turner coming off the bench was outstanding. He shot the ball with extreme confidence and gave us a huge lift. You could see our guys get tight and he just stepped up and knocked down some shots and I think that was the difference in the game. We just played good all-around basketball."
On the back to back wins: "We needed this. Being two games under .500 in conference play. Getting back-to-back wins puts us back in the thick of things. I don't really look at the standings and I want our guys to take it just one step at a time. But, now if we win next week we're in the driver's seat for getting a first-round bye (at the Sun Belt Championships). There's a lot of basketball left and we just need to take it one step at a time. We'll feel good about this one for a day, then we'll have a lot of time to prepare for Texas State. Unfortunately, they have a lot of time to prepare for us as well, but that's going to be an exciting basketball game."
On the game plan for Texas State: "We're gonna feel good about this one for a day. We're actually going to give them an extra day because we know they're beat up physically right now. And on Tuesday we're gonna get after it. Texas State plays a tough, aggressive style of defense and we're gonna have to be prepared for that. They're probably the most physically, and the toughest team in the league. So, we're going to have to work on that all week long and I'm glad we have time to prepare for that. How they defend ball screens is a lot more physical than others. But having guys like Erick Neal and Kevin Hervey is where we can take advantage of that. If they make good decisions and are sharp with the basketball, we can have success against them."
Graduate Transfer Center Johnny Hamilton
Thoughts on the win: "We just got tired of losing. We started focusing more in practice on making open shots. And we worked on staying focused in the game and do what we do best and that's play basketball. That's what we did tonight."
On Erick Neal and Kevin Hervey finding him on the pick and roll tonight: "I feel like they always do, but they're our best players. So, they take and make the big shots. Tonight, I was having a good game so they kept coming to me. But they're really the players that push us to go harder and do the most for us to win most times. I'm happy they supported me tonight, they always do but they came to me and Davion Turner a lot tonight. I was really happy about that, but maybe it's because it's my birthday too that was my gift.
Junior Forward Davion Turner
Thoughts on his performance: "We kind of knew coming in that they were going to try to take Erick and Kevin away. So those two were going to have to look for someone else and I just stepped up."
On people comparing his game to Kevin Hervey: "I mean he's good and I love him and I love his game, but I want to be better than him. But I want him to win, he's an NBA prospect so I try to go hard at him and in practice. He makes me better and I make him better. But it's cool to get the comparison, but I'm trying to reach for the stars."
On how losing Kaelon Wilson impacts his role: "Of course it changes. Erick and Kevin are the one-two punch when it comes to scoring. Kevin is averaging 20 and I'm not sure how much Erick is averaging but they're 80% of our scoring. And Kaelon is the third option when it comes to scoring so somebody is going to have to step up and tonight I did that to help the team win."
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