MBB: Hervey, Neal Star as Mavs Soar Past Panthers

Feb. 24, 2018

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- UTA got double-doubles from Kevin Hervey and Erick Neal to help lead the Mavericks to an 89-81 win over Georgia State on Saturday evening at College Park Center.  

UTA (18-12, 9-8 Sun Belt Conference) improved to 13-2 in the regular season at College Park Center with the win over Georgia State (20-9, 11-5 Sun Belt). UTA avenges an 81-75 loss at Georgia State on Jan. 25 in Atlanta. UTA outlasted Georgia State in the win thanks to a strong margin in rebounding (47-32), assists (23-16) and bench points (30-9). UTA held Georgia State to 44 percent from the field with the Panthers going 6-for-18 from the charity stripe.

The Mavs celebrated an eight-member senior class with the win, with Neal and Hervey each earning double-doubles in the effort. The Mavs have won six consecutive home games.

The Mavs were led by double-doubles from Hervey and Neal, with Hervey owning 28 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, blocking two shots over 32 minutes. Neal had 24 points - including 7 three pointers - adding 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Nathan Hawkins, Kaelon Wilson, Julian Harris, Johnny Hamilton, Link Kabadyundi, Mairega Clarke joined Hervey and Neal in the senior class. Hawkins had three points, six rebounds and six assists in the win, with Wilson adding 14 points and five boards. Harris had four points and three rebounds.

Hamilton finished with 14 points and six rebounds owning three blocks. Hamilton, a seven-foot graduate student out of Trinidad, had a historic night, setting UTA's single-season record for blocks.

The Mavs will wrap up the regular season Friday, traveling to face Texas State at 6 p.m. (CST) at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos.

Harris opened the scoring with a jumper and that sparked a quick 7-0 run, including a dunk from Hamilton on a find from Wilson and a three from Wilson from the wing. After Georgia State got a three, Hervey scooped up a loose ball under the rim and executed a one-handed lay-in for a 9-5 lead. After GSU tied it up, Wilson connected on a three from the wing on a nifty bounce pass from Neal for a 12-9 lead. Neal then found Hervey in transition for a triple and a 15-9 lead. UTA extended its lead with a third Wilson three, coming on a Neal assist from the corner. Neal then sank his first three - off a find from DJ Bryant - to take a 23-15 lead. Hamilton got in on the scoring with a hook shot from the block on an entry pass from Davion Turner. Turner then found Hervey for a basket and Neal kept UTA's lead at 30-22 after a deep 25-foot three pointer in transition. Neal then gave the Mavs a 35-24 lead with five minutes left after an off-balance triple in transition from the corner. Neal answered a Georgia State three with a lop to Hamilton for a dunk and a 37-27 lead. Georgia State used consecutive triples from Devin Mitchell to cut the lead to 39-33 with three minutes left but Wilson drove into the paint and found Hamilton for a dunk, his fifth make on six attempts. After the under three-minute media timeout, Neal hit his fourth three to take a 44-33 lead. The teams traded buckets to end the half with a 46-38 lead.

Georgia State spurted out of the break on an 11-2 run to erase UTA's lead. The Mavs responded with a triple from Neal on the wing to take a 51-49 lead but Georgia State responded with a triple. After an injury timeout, UTA got back on top behind a three from Hervey for a 54-52 lead with 16 minutes left. Neal then created space in the corner and nailed a contested three for a 57-52 lead. The Mavs used free throws to take the lead to 62-56 with just over 12 minutes left in regulation. Hervey notched a pair of key buckets, including a find from Neal and a completed and-one chance for a 67-58 lead. Nathan Hawkins splashed a three on an assist from Neal to take a 71-61 lead. The Panthers rallied to cut the lead to 76-72 with 5:46 left. Mitchell's seventh three cut the lead to 77-75 with 4:07 left. After the Panthers evened it up with 3:05 left, Wilson connected on two free throws for a 79-77 lead. Hervey then splashed his third three for an 82-77 lead and Wilson secured the defensive rebound with 1:50 left, with Neal forcing a foul. Neal hit both free throws, then grabbed a defensive rebound on the other end as UTA took an 84-77 lead with 1:24 left. As the clock ticked under 40 seconds, Hervey drove to the rim and stretched UTA's lead to 86-77.

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 @UTAMavsand Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA basketball programs on Twitter at @UTA_MBB and @LadyMavHoops.




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