MBB: Mavericks' season ends with title game setback

March 11, 2018

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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The UT Arlington men's basketball team endured its toughest shooting effort of the season at the wrong time as the Mavericks dropped a 74-61 decision to Georgia State in the Sun Belt Conference Championships title game Sunday at Lakefront Arena.

The Mavericks shot just 29.8 percent from the field and made only 4 of 25 3-point attempts in its first-ever Sun Belt title game. UTA concluded its season with a 21-13 record, its third-straight 20-win season and a fourth place regular season finish in the Sun Belt;

Georgia State improved to 24-10 overall and will represent the Sun Belt in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The annual NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for this afternoon at 5 p.m. (CDT) on TBS.

Graduate transfer Johnny Hamilton led the Mavericks with his seventh double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 23 points to go with 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. He made 8 of his 10 field goal attempts and went 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

Point guard Erick Neal, one of 8 seniors on the UTA team that played their last college game, scored 13 points, while classmate Kevin Hervey added 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

Neal and Hamilton joined Louisiana's Frank Bartley, Georgia State's Isaiah Williams and tournament MVP D'Marcus Simons of the Panthers on the All-Tournament Team.

Simonds led all scorers with 27 points, while teammate Devin Mitchell added 13 and Malik Benlevi added 11.

UTA ends its season with its third-straight 20-win season and its 72 victories over the last three years is the second highest total among Division I programs in the state of Texas. Along with UTA, only the University of Houston has won 20 or more games in each of the last three seasons.

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