MBB: UTA hosts South Alabama Saturday

Jan. 5, 2018

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The Last Meeting
South Alabama75
UT Arlington86
February 25, 2017
College Park Center
MBB: Balanced scoring leads Mavericks to victory
UTA pulled away in the second half in a 86-75 victory over South Alabama Saturday in College Park Center.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington men’s basketball team looks to maintain its winning ways Saturday when it hosts South Alabama in a 4:15 p.m. (CST) Sun Belt Conference tipoff in College Park Center.

The game, presented by Cadmus Dental, will be preceded by a Sun Belt women’s contest featuring the UTA Lady Mavs against South Alabama beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at UTATickets.com or by calling (817) 272-9595. All kids ages 18 and under receive free admission. A special “Sun Belt Saturday Family Four Pack” ticket package that includes four tickets, hot dogs and small sodas is available for just $40.

Named the preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt regular season by league coaches, the Mavericks are 10-6 on the season and are coming off an impressive 86-76 home victory over Troy on Thursday in College Park Center. The win pushed UTA’s home record to 6-1 this season and a stellar 33-4 over the last three seasons.

South Alabama brings an 8-7 record and 2-1 league mark into Saturday’s contest after dropping a 72-69 decision Thursday night at Texas State. The Jaguars opened league play with wins over Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

Following Saturday’s game against South Alabama, UTA travels to Arkansas next weekend for games at Little Rock and Arkansas State.

HOW TO WATCH / LISTEN
Every UTA home game is streamed live on ESPN3 and is available via WatchESPN.com and the popular WatchESPN app. Voice of the Mavs Josh Sours will also provide an audio description of the game for Dallas-Fort Worth area listeners on KEXB 620 AM and online through TuneIn.com and its popular TuneIn app. Links to live coverage, including in-game statistics, are available by clicking here.


 

 

SERIES HISTORY
South Alabama owns an 8-5 edge in the all-time series between the two programs that dates back to the first meeting on Dec. 30, 1972. Since UTA joined the Sun Belt, the Mavericks own a 5-3 advantage against the Jaguars. The Mavericks have won each of the last three meetings and came away victorious in the last four matchups in Arlington. Last season, UTA knocked off the Jaguars 89-83 in Mobile and 86-75 in College Park Center.

ABOUT THE MAVS
UTA enters Sunday’s game with a 10-6 record and a 1-2 mark in the Sun Belt following Thursday’s 10-point victory over Troy. After winning seven of their first eight games, the Mavericks fell short in five of their next seven contests before rebounding against the Trojans. UTA is a sparkling 6-1 within the friendly confines of College Park Center, including wins over North Texas, Rice, Loyola Marymount and Cal Poly.

Senior All-America candidate forward Kevin Hervey leads the Sun Belt in scoring (21.5), is second in the league in rebounding (8.8), has surpassed 20 points in 10 of his 15 appearances and has 5 double-doubles. Classmate Erick Neal is considered one of the nation’s top point guards, ranks third in the NCAA in assists (8.3), leads the Sun Belt in assist-turnover ratio (2.3) and is the program’s all-time assist leader. Last weekend, he became the program’s all-time leader in career assists.

Featuring eight seniors on its roster, UTA is expected to feature a lineup consisting of Hervey and Nathan Hawkins at the forward position, Johnny Hamilton at center and Neal and Kaelon Wilson at guard. Seniors account for 91 percent of the team’s scoring.

HEAD COACH SCOTT CROSS
Scott Cross, the winningest coach in program history, enters the Creighton game with a 214-154 record in his 12th season as the head coach of the Mavericks. A 1998 graduate of UTA, Cross was a 2-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection as a player before spending seven seasons as a UTA assistant coach under Eddie McCarter. He is a 2-time conference coach of the year and earned NABC District 24 Coast of the Year honors last year.

LAST TIME OUT
After opening league play with a pair of road losses at Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State, the Mavericks rebounded with a hard-fought 86-76 win over Troy. Erick Neal led UTA with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, while Kaelon Wilson registered his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Five UTA players scored in double-figures to help the Mavs overcome a 9-point first half deficit.

ABOUT SOUTH ALABAMA
Under fifth year head coach Matthew Graves, South Alabama enters Saturday’s game with an 8-7 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the Sun Belt. The Jaguars are led by junior guard Rodrick Sikes’ 18.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Josh Ajayi averages 13.1 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. South Alabama owns a 6-1 record at home, but is 0-6 in true road games this season. Jaguars are 2-0 in neutral site contests.

SCATTERSHOOTING
Junior Davion Turner was perfect from the field with a 4-for-4 performance against Troy. The Cedar Hill native also shot 2-of-2 from behind the 3-point arc and scored 10 points, eclipsing double figures for the second time this season … Erick Neal is on track to surpass a few Mavericks on the career scoring chart against South Alabama. He enters the game in 14th on the program’s scoring chart with 1,216 points and is just 2 shy of Jermaine Griffin, 12 behind Bobby Kenyon and 13 back, of Steven Barber … Kevin Hervey is just 47 points away from second place in UTA career scoring. He has 1,430 points and should catch runner-up Anthony Vereen within the next few games … Willie Brand is No. 1 on the list with 1,907 points.

HOLIDAY HOOPS YOUTH TICKETS
At Saturday’s game against South Alabama, all youth ages 18 and under will be admitted free to UTA home men and women's basketball games. Tickets are available at the College Park Center box office prior to each game.

PURCHASE UTA HOME GAME TICKETS
Single game, group and specially-priced multi-game ticket packages 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.  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 per game.  Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available.  Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.

SPECIAL TICKET PACKAGES
Specially-priced Sun Belt game ticket packages are available for the remainder of the season through the UTA Box Office. The Sun Belt Fun Pack provides a tickets for every league men and women's game for just $45 per seat, while the Sun Belt Saturday Family Four Pack includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four small sodas for just $40 per game. The Sun Belt 3-Point Thursdays provides a ticket, small popcorn and small soda for just $10 per game.

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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