MBB: Hervey, Neal Help Mavs Claw Past North Texas

Dec. 2, 2017

Final Stats |  Quotes |  Notes

ARLINGTON, Texas - Strong outings from Kevin Hervey and Erick Neal helped UTA men's basketball outlast North Texas for a 65-60 win, on Saturday night at College Park Center.  

UTA (7-1) won its fifth consecutive game by outlasting North Texas (4-5). After holding a 24-22 halftime lead, UTA fought off a second-half charge from UNT, outscoring the Mean Green 41-38 in the final stanza.

In a tie game with 22 seconds left, the Mavs found Hervey for the game-winning basket on the block, with UTA getting a defensive stop and hitting free throws to escape the contest with the hard-fought win.

The Mavs have won five straight games and only have a lone setback on the year, a one-point loss at No. 25 Alabama on Nov. 21.

Hervey, a product of Arlington's Bowie High School and the defending Sun Belt Conference Male Athlete of the Year, had a game-high 23 points, adding eight rebounds and two assists. Neal had 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and a season-high five steals.

Senior center Johnny Hamilton finished a rebound shy of his third double-double in 2017-18, totaling 10 points and nine rebounds. The Mavs also got three points from Kaelon Wilson and Davion Turner and two points from Nathan Hawkins, Julian Harris and Link Kabadyundi.



The Mavs will return to action on Thursday, traveling to face Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. CT.

Hervey got the Mavs on the board to open the game with a triple on the first possession. After a Hervey runner in the lane made it 5-4 Mavs, Hervey found Hamilton for a layup for a three-point lead. After a Hamilton dunk lifted UTA to a 9-6 lead, Harris used a layup to keep the Mavs ahead at 11-10 with 11:12 left. UNT went on a 7-0 lead to take a 17-11 lead after a dunk but the Mavs answered with six straight to tie the game, including three from Hervey via a free throw and jumper and a triple from Turner to make it 17-17 with 4:39 left. UTA used a jumper from Wilson and free throws from Neal to cut the UNT lead to 22-21 and Neal gave the Mavs the lead with a jumper from just inside the three-point arc. The Mavs took a 24-22 lead into the half despite just shooting 35-percent from the field and owning a 4-for-15 mark from the charity stripe.

Hamilton emphatically got the Mavs on the board to open the second stanza with a hard-earned basket in the paint, giving UTA a 28-23 lead. Neal's triple extended the lead to 31-23 with 18 minutes left. The run continued with a Hervey 3 pointer as the Mavs extended their lead to 11, 34-24 at the under 16-minute media timeout. A pair of free throws from Hervey lifted the Mavs to a 13-point lead but UNT started to claw back cutting the UTA lead to 44-40 and force a Maverick timeout with 9:52 left. UNT cut the lead to 45-42 after a turnover and layup but Neal answered with a jumper and free throw to take a 48-42 lead.  After UNT sank a three to cut it to 48-45, Neal found a jumper to take a five-point lead into the under eight-minute timeout. Hervey's offensive board and tip-in saw UTA take a 53-48 lead but UNT sank a pair from the charity stripe to make it a three-point game with six minutes left. UNT evened up the game with five minutes after a three pointer from Roosevelt Smart. Neal answered with a steal on the defensive end and forced a foul on a breakaway, sinking both free throws but UNT use a basket in the paint to even it back at 55-55.

Hervey helped the Mavs regain the lead, getting fouled and sinking a pair of free throws to give UTA a 57-55 lead with 2:25 left. UNT answered with a triple from the wing by Smart to take a 58-57 lead. On the offensive end, Hamilton skied to grab an offensive rebound and forced a foul with 1:36 left, hitting the first of the two free throws to tie the game at 58. UTA forced a turnover on the defensive end and Neal took the ball to the basket for an up and under and a 60-58 lead. UNT answered with a basket in transition to tie it at 60 with 45.7 seconds. UTA found Hervey on the block and the senior's right-handed shot gave the Mavs a 62-60 lead with 22 seconds left, with UTA calling timeout to set up its defense. 

UNT's A.J. Lawson took the ball into the paint and his contested lay-up was missed, with Neal grabbing the board and forcing a foul. Neal, a senior out of Dallas, hit both free throws to give UTA a 64-60 lead with 3.4 left.

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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