MBB: Mavs looking to continue Saturday road success

Jan. 26, 2018

UTATickets.com | Gameday Links | UTA Press Notes | GS Press Notes

The Last Meeting
UT Arlington81
Georgia Southern71
February 20, 2017
Statesboro, Ga.
MBB: Late-Game Defense Pushes Mavs to 81-71 Win
UTA earned a key 81-71 win at Georgia Southern on Monday night to remain in first place in the Sun Belt Conference standings.

STATESBORO, Ga. -- Each of the UT Arlington men's basketball team's road wins this season have occurred on a Saturday.

The Mavericks will be looking to continue that trend tomorrow when they face host Georgia Southern in a 4 p.m. (CST) tipoff in Hanner Fieldhouse.

UTA enters the contest with a 13-9 overall record and a 4-5 mark against Sun Belt competition following last night's narrow 81-75 setback at Georgia State. Georgia Southern is 14-7 overall and 5-3 in league play following a heartbreaking 62-61 home loss to Texas State.

Like every UTA home game, the Mavericks' game at Georgia Southern will be streamed live on ESPN3 and will be 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.

The UTA and Georgia Southern men's basketball programs have met just six times previously and just once prior to the Mavericks joining the Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles claimed a 73-69 victory 45 years ago, in the first round of the inaugural Claxton Fruit Cake Classic in then 3-year-old Hanner Fieldhouse. The two teams did not play again until UTA joined the Sun Belt with the mavericks claiming a 62-61 home victory in its first-ever league contest. Lonnie McClanahan scored on a game-winning layup with just :14 seconds left in the game. Last season, UTA snapped a 2-game losing streak in Statesboro with an 81-71 victory.



UTA enters Saturday's game with a 13-9 overall record following Saturday's 81-75 setback at Georgia State. UTA owns the second-highest scoring offense in the Sun Belt at 77.8 points per game and is second-best in the league in field goal percentage and assists.

The Mavericks feature eight seniors, who account for 90 percent of the team's scoring. Coach Scott Cross deviated slightly last night from starting lineup that has featured 18 times this season: Forwards Nathan Hawkins and Kevin Hervey, center Johnny Hamilton and guards Erick Neal and Kaelon Wilson. Hamilton and Wilson are the only two Mavericks who have started each of the team's 22 games this season.

Hervey ranks second in the Sun Belt in scoring and rebounding, is sixth in field goal percentage and tied for seventh in made 3-pointers and steals. Neal is the league's best in assists and steals, while Hamilton leads the conference in blocked shots and ranks sixth in rebounds.

Scott Cross, the winningest coach in program history, enters the Georgia Southern game with a 217-157 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.

Despite a 22 point, 13 rebound double-double from Kevin Hervey and the third-most blocks in a single game (7) by Johnny Hamilton, the Mavericks weren't able to overcome a motivated Georgia State side and its energetic home crowd in an 8175 setback at GSU Sports Arena. Kaelon Wilson added 21 points and 8 rebounds. GSU sophomore D'Marcus Simonds, the SBC's leading scorer, led the Eagels with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals. UTA led for more than 21 minutes and by as many as 8 points. GSU outscored the Mavericks 46-26 in the paint and 22-10 in fast break points.

Under fifth year head coach Mark Byington, Georgia Southern enters Saturday's game with a 14-7 overall record and a 5-3 mark against Sun Belt opponents. The Eagles have won 18 of their last 22 games in Hanner Fieldhouse and are 6-1 at home this season. Seven of the team's final 11 regular season games are scheduled to take place in Statesboro.

The Eagles rank 12th nationally in offensive rebounding, led by 5th ranked junior Montae Glenn. GS has the top two returning scorers in the Sun Belt in juniors Ike Smith and Tookie Brown, both first team all-league selections a year ago. Brown currently ranks fourth in the league in scoring with an average of 18.9 points per game and is fifth in assists. Glenn is tied with UTA's Kevin Hervey for second in the league in rebound average at 8.8 per game.

The first game between UTA and Georgia State took place 45 years ago in the inaugural Claxton Fruit Cake Classic in Hanner Fieldhouse. The other teams involved were South Alabama and Austin Peay. GS fell to Austin Peay in the final as the Governors' high-scoring guard James "Fly" Williams poured-in 51 points … Kevin Hervey has moved into second on the UTA program list for career field goals and field goal attempts … Johnny Hamilton has 53 blocked shots this season, the 5th highest single season total in program history. He needs just 2 to catch Brandon Edwards (2013-14), 4 to equal Jordan Reves (2011-12) and 5 to catch runner-up Jermaine Griffin (2006-07). Reves owns the single season record with 71 in 2012-13.

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.

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.

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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