ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington men's basketball program's lone home game against an in-state Sun Belt Conference rival takes place Saturday when the Mavericks host Texas State in a 4:15 p.m. start at College Park Center.
The Mavericks own a sparkling 10-2 record in College Park Center this season and have won 37 of 42 home appearances over the last three seasons. Saturday's contest will be the second game of a doubleheader, preceded by the Lady Mavericks hosting the Bobcats at 2 p.m. The UTA men are 15-10 overall record and own a 6-6 mark against Sun Belt competition.
Saturday's men and women's games against the Bobcats (14-11, 7-4) are sponsored by TD Ameritrade and are part of a Military Appreciation initiative that included both teams conducting a special youth clinic at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in October. All active, reserve and retired military personnel receive free admission with valid military identification and are eligible to purchase discounted tickets for friends and family members.
Tickets are available online at UTATickets.com or by calling the UTA Box Office at (817) 272-9595 or visiting in person during weekday business hours.
Following Saturday's game, the UTA men and women's teams travel to Louisiana next week for key Sun Belt contests at ULM and Louisiana. Click here for a complete schedule of UTA men's basketball games.
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.
UTA and Texas State have met 69 times since the series began on Dec. 6, 1984. Since that first meeting, the Bobcats own a narrow 36-33 series lead. However, UTA has won 12 of the last 15 games, dating back to the 2011-12 season. Since joining the Sun Belt Conference, UTA has won 8 of the 11 meetings. Last season, the two teams split the two regular season contests with each winning on its home court. UTA won 76-61 in College Park Center. Texas State claimed an 81-73 victory in San Marcos. The two teams have met in the Sun Belt Conference Championships in each of the last three seasons.
ABOUT THE MAVS
UTA enters Saturday's game with a 15-10 overall record, a 6-6 mark against Sun Belt competition and a 2-game win streak after knocking off Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State last weekend in College Park Center. The Mavericks are 10-2 in Arlington, but have struggled on the road, winning just one of their last seven games away from home. UTA opened the season at 7-1 with just a 1-point loss at then No. 25 Alabama and ranked as high as second in the national mid-major top 25 poll.
The Mavericks feature eight seniors, who account for 89 percent of the team's scoring. Coach Scott Cross has adjusted his starting lineup slightly, using a different group in the last four games. Possible starters Saturday include forwards Nathan Hawkins and Kevin Hervey, center Link Kabadyundi and guards Erick Neal and DJ Bryant. Senior Kaelon Wilson is out indefinitely due to injury.
Hervey ranks second in the Sun Belt in scoring and rebounding, is fifth in field goal percentage and seventh in made 3-pointers. Neal is the league's best in assists and steals, while Hamilton is second the conference in blocked shots and ranks sixth in rebounds. Hervey, Neal and Wilson are among the top scorers in program history, each eclipsing the 1,000 point barrier.
HEAD COACH SCOTT CROSS
Scott Cross, the winningest coach in program history, enters the Texas State game with a 219-158 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
UTA avenged losses at Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina earlier this season with a pair of come-from-behind victories last weekend in College Park Center. Erick Neal paced the Mavs to an 89-77 win over Appalachian State with a career-best 38-point outburst on Thursday. Johnny Hamilton and Davion Turner each registered 20 points in an 87-80 victory Saturday against Coastal Carolina. Hamilton also grabbed 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. UTA limited the Chanticleers to just 9-for-29 from behind the 3-point arc, including 3-for-12 in the second half.
ABOUT TEXAS STATE
Under fifth year head coach Danny Kaspar, the Bobcats bring a 7-5 record into College Park Center. After winning six straight, the Bobcats have dropped four of their last five games, including a pair of narrow home defeats last weekend to Coastal Carolina (54-56, OT) and Appalachian State (56-59). Texas State's last four games have been decided by an average of 2.5 points.
Sophomore Nijal Person leads the Bobcast in scoring with an average of 14.2 points per gaheml while senior Immanuel King is the team's rebound leader at 6.0 per game. Texas State owns the league's stingiest defense, allowing just 62.4 points per game and limiting opponents to just .302 percent shooting from behind the 3-point arc.
Kaspar is in his fifth season at Texas State and 27th year as a head coach. The 1978 North Texas grad has won 538 games in his career and is 73-81 during his time in San Marcos. He previously coached at Stephen F. Austin and Incarnate Word.
UTA is 37-5 inside College Park Center over the last three seasons ... Erick Neal enters Saturday's game as the first Sun Belt player ever to surpass 1,300 career points, 700 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals ... Kevin Hervey enters the game just 7 rebounds shy of equaling the program record for career rebounds ... Johnny Hamilton owns 56 blocked shots this season, the fourth highest single season total in program history ... Kaelon Wilson will miss the next few UTA games due to a neck injury suffered early in Thursday's game against Appalachian State.
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 ticket 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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