UT Arlington 86 at UTRGV 65
Saturday, December 16, 2017 • Edinburg, Texas
UTA Head Coach Scott Cross
“I thought we played really good defensively, as far as positioning and guy sitting down in a stance. It was one of our better games. We did a great job of blocking out and rebounding. It was definitely one of our best rebounding games. It is a hard game to prepare for because of their style of play. They play really, really hard and trap all over the floor. Guys have to make quick decisions. For the most part, we did that. We had 14 turnovers. I thought if we would be able to keep it under 15 we would have a good goal for this game. We were a little careless at time in the first half. To win the way we did, on the road, with them having a 3-game win streak is a credit to our team. They beat North Texas, Rice and UC Irvine. That’s three good wins. I’m proud of our guys to be able to come in here and win like they did.
“Kevin, obviously, was very good. Kaelon was awesome all night. Johnny controlled the paint at the beginning of the game. Nathan had one of his best shooting games. He is so calm and controlled and is such a great team defender. Julian gave us great minutes. DJ had 8 assists and 2 turnovers. He ran the show. It was a great all-around team effort. Mairega’s on-the-ball defense was really great. There was a stretch in the second half where it got really tight and we put him on Dixon. He held him in check for that stretch. It was a good all-around team performance.
“(Monday at Creighton) is going to be tough. We know it is going to be a huge task in front of us. I think this team can do it. We beat Oklahoma in an exhibition game, who goes to Wichita State – the No. 3 team in the country – so, this team is capable of beating anybody. It is just a matter of playing our best basketball at the right time. If we play our best basketball, I think we can go in there and win. It is definitely going to take our best effort to do that.”
UTA Junior Forward Kevin Hervey
“(Taking things game-by-game) is the way we are coached. Coach Cross never lets up. He forces us to give 1,000 percent day-in and day-out. We never overlook any opponent. We try to be the hardest, fastest playing team every night. (UTRGV) is a very hard playing team. I have to give a shoutout to DJ. He stepped up in a big game. We need Erick. He is a great player. We played a good team tonight. We showed our style of play is pretty efficient. We are looking forward to Monday’s game at Creighton.”
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