Oct. 28, 2017
NORMAN, Okla. -- The UTA men's basketball team connected on nearly 50 percent of its long range shots and outrebounded Oklahoma en route to a 99-84 victory over the Sooners in a charity scrimmage at Lloyd Noble Center.
The Mavericks' much-heralded senior duo of Kevin Hervey and Erick Neal combined for 52 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists in the team's second scrimmage against a Big 12 opponent. Both players registered double-doubles with Neal posting 25 points and 12 assists, while Hervey scored a team-high 27 points to go with 13 rebounds.
Christian James led Oklahoma with a game-high 28 points on 8-of-11 shooting and a 9-of-12 effort from the free throw line.
"We saw a lot of good signs today," said UTA head coach Scott Cross. "I think the biggest positive was our transition offense. We made some changes since our first closed door scrimmage to try to spread things out and play with a bit more speed. I thought we got some open shots and our guys knocked them down. When you play with speed and you get stops on the defensive end, you can create easy shots on the other end.
"We also did a good job in rebounding, so there were really a lot of positives to take away from this game against a really quality opponent."
Despite the gaudy statistics of Hervey and Neal, the Mavericks put together a total team effort. UTA limited Oklahoma to just 30 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line and outrebounded the Sooners 45-44.
Senior Nathan Hawkins scored 10 points and handed out five assists, while playing solid defense. Graduate transfer center Johnny Hamilton scored 8 points with f5 rebounds and two blocked shots in just 13 minutes.
"It was definitely a team effort," said Cross. "All the guys who played contributed in one way or another. All the way around, our guys played well. Nathan did a lot of good things defensively and hit a couple of threes for us. Kaelon (Wilson) was good in transition. Sticks (Davion Turner) hit a couple of big shots for us. DJ (Bryant) did a good job running the show.
"I think results and performances like today give our guys confidence that they can beat anybody on our schedule. The biggest thing is how are they going to respond this week in practice. After last weekend's closed door scrimmage, our guys got back and had a good week of practice and they came out and played the right way today."
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UTA opens its season on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount. The 7 p.m. (CDT) tipoff will be the second game of the day with the Lady Mavs hosting Incarnate Word in their opener at 2:30 p.m. Both games are part of the University's popular Homecoming activities.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS
Full season and single game tickets 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. Season tickets are available for as low as $99 for all 30 men and women's games, which comes out to $3.30 per game. 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 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets. Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.
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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