Georgia Southern (17-11, 8-7) 63 at UT Arlington (17-12, 8-8 Sun Belt) 83
Thursday, February 22, 2018
College Park Center o Arlington, Texas
UTA Head Coach Scott Cross
Opening Thoughts on the Win: "Definitely one of our best all-around games we've played this year, right there with wins vs BYU and Arkansas State. It started on the defensive side of the ball as we got stops, especially in the second half. We were able to play fast in transition, and that's how we want to play. I don't understand why we can't always play like that. But, hopefully the guys had so much fun tonight getting stops and running on offense that they'll work a little bit harder moving forward. Then we can play that style every game. It was a great all-around team performance. I think really everybody contributed. We did a great job of keeping Tookie Brown out of the paint, as he's so good at getting in there and getting to the basket. That really started with Erick Neal and Johnny Hamilton but all our guys were locked in defensively today."
On Kevin Hervey not starting tonight's game: "Kevin didn't practice this week, and his knee has been giving him some trouble. It's kind of been a longstanding thing that I have, as I have no problems playing him but it's hard to justify starting him if he hasn't been able to practice all week. Those other guys worked their butts off at practice this week, like Julian Harris, and he deserves an opportunity. Honestly, it was one of Kevin's most efficient games on both ends of the floor this year. Great contributions from both guys, as Julian had 10 points off 4 shots. And Kevin had 21 points off 13 shots. So between those two, that's probably the most production we've gotten from that position. So I'm very pleased that Kevin didn't force the issue when he entered off the bench. As Kaelon Wilson was really cooking in the first half. In the second half we started getting stops and he and Erick got it going. And it was nice to have multiple guys in double figures tonight.
On the strong defensive performance: "It's always a focus for me. We always emphasize defense and rebounding. Our guys like to score the ball and look at the stat sheet, but defense and rebounding is what we preach 90% of the time. The offense is easy, nothing special from an X's and O's standpoint we just got stops and we able to run in transition to get wide open shots. That's the style I prefer to play every night if we could, but you can't do that unless you get stops."
UTA Senior Guard Kaelon Wilson
Thoughts on the win, and his 23-point performance: "I felt great. I finally had a full week of practice as I'm getting back from the injury. So that helped me on the offensive end. On the defensive end, Coach always preaches defense and that's how we win. We get stops and get out and run."
On the huge difference in home record vs road record: "For one we have a great crowd behind us. Second, even though it shouldn't be like this but we defend better at home. But we need to start letting that toughness transfer over to road games so we get can some more wins on the road. Especially with tournament time coming up."
Plan for Georgia State on Saturday: "We know they play a lot of zone defense. So we'll start working on our zone offense and just getting in the gym so we can knock down the open shots."
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