MBB: Neal's Triple-Double Leads Mavs Past Comets

Nov. 27, 2017

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Erick Neal's second career triple-double and a career performance from Johnny Hamilton helped lead UTA men's basketball to a 73-53 win over UT Dallas, on Monday night at College Park Center. 

For the second time in his career and UTA basketball history, Neal completed a triple-double, charting 10 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds on 4-of-12 shooting in a full 40 minutes. A native of Dallas, Texas, and a product of Lincoln High School, Neal added a pair of steals to move into sixth in UTA career history. Neal, a 5-foot-10 senior, last turned the triple double in a win over ULM on Jan. 28, 2016, collecting 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

Hamilton, a 7-foot senior center, joined Neal in standout performances as the Mavs earned their fifth win in six games to open the year. Hamilton finished with his second career double-double, charting 20 points and 12 rebounds to go with his four blocked shots. Hamilton had 30 points and 15 rebounds in a win last week vs. Western Carolina. 

The win marked the third consecutive for the preseason Sun Belt Conference favorite Mavs, who bounced back after a one-point loss at No. 25 Alabama last week. UTA (5-1) used a furious 15-0 run to build a big first-half lead and held UT Dallas (2-2) to 22-percent from the field as the Mavs built a 31-19 lead at the break and netted 42 points in the second stanza to finish off the win. UTA held UT Dallas to 29 percent from the field, owning a 36-26 advantage in rebounding. 

Neal and Hamilton's career games helped spur the Mavs to the win but senior Kaelon Wilson also contributed a strong outing with 17 points and four rebounds. UTA also got eight points and five rebounds from Julian Harris, six points and two boards from Maierega Clark and seven points and four boards from Nathan Hawkins, with Hawkins adding three steals. Davion Turner charted two points and seven rebounds.

The Mavs return to action on Wednesday, hosting Rice at 7 p.m. CT at College Park Center in a game broadcast live on ESPN3.com. UTA's homestand will continue on Saturday vs. North Texas at 7 p.m.

After UT Dallas took a 2-1 lead to open, UTA got on the field-goal board with a Wilson lay-in after the senior guard secured the rebound on the defensive end. Wilson gave the Mavs a 6-2 lead with a triple and a Hawkins dunk led the to an 8-2 lead. The Mavs used a breakaway dunk from Hamilton to take a 12-5 lead out of the under 16-minute media timeout. Harris stretched UTA's lead to 16-11 with a dunk but UTD answered with a 5-0 run to even it up at 16. The Mavs answered with a jumper from Hamilton and baskets at the rim from Harris and Hawkins to take a 22-16 lead. UTA's run extended to 15 unanswered as the Mavs built a 31-16 lead, getting a pair of free throws from Mairega Clarke and buckets in the paint from Harris and Hawkins before the Comets got a three late in the half.

Wilson opened the scoring in the second stanza with a jumper and after five straight points from the Comets, Turner sank a lay-in to get it back to double figures with just under 18 left. The Comets cut the lead to eight with 15 minutes in regulation but after a Neal steal and a basket in transition, the Mavs extended their lead to 45-29. UTA built a 20-point lead out of the under 12-minute timeout in the half after a pair of connections from Clarke at the charity stripe. Neal's pick-pocket in the front court and alley-oop pass to a charging Hamilton saw the Mavs take a 53-31 lead. The Mavs finished off the win with a pair of free throws from Hamilton, Neal completed the triple-double with a tip-in to get the Mavs to 70 points and Scott Muirhead put the finishing touches with a triple for the final score.

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.

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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