ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington men's basketball team returns to College Park Center this weekend for its final two home games of the regular season.
The Mavericks host Georgia Southern Thursday at 7 p.m. then will welcome Georgia State to Arlington with a 4:30 p.m. Senior Day contest on Saturday. Thursday's game against the Eagles is presented by Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. Tickets are available online at UTATickets.com or by calling the UTA Box Office at (817) 272-9595 or in person at College Park Center prior to the game.
UTA enters Thursday's contest with a 16-12 overall record and a 7-8 mark against Sun Belt Competition. The Mavericks are in a battle with at least seven Sun Belt teams for a top 4 finish in the final league standings. The top four finishers receive a first round bye in the league's postseason championships, which are scheduled for March 7-11 in New Orleans.
Georgia Southern (17-10, 8-6) opened conference play by winning five of its first six games, but has struggled for a result lately. The Eagles are coming off an 85-80 rivalry victory over Georgia State, which snapped a season-long 3-game losing streak. The team has only played once in the last 12 days.
Following Thursday's game, the UTA men and women's teams return to College Park Center Saturday to host Georgia State in their final home game of the regular season. The games are presented by Texas Trust Credit Union and will serve as Senior Day for both programs. Thanks to Texas Trust, all UTA students will be admitted into the game free of charge.
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 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 Georgia Southern have played just seven times previously with the Eagles owning a 4-3 series advantage. The two programs have met six times since UTA joined the Sun Belt Conference with each team claiming three victories. Georgia Southern is winless in College Park Center, dropping a 62-61 contest in 2014 and an 81-71 result in 2017. The first time the two programs met was in the Claxton Fruitcake Classic in Statesboro, Ga. in 1972.
ABOUT THE MAVS
UTA enters Thursday's game with a 16-12 overall record and a 7-8 mark in league play. The Mavericks are an impressive 11-2 in College Park Center, but have found victories on the road a bit harder to come by. UTA is just 4-10 in true road games, including a 1-7 mark against Sun Belt competition.
Due to recent injuries, head coach Scott Cross has featured a different starting lineup in five of the last seven games. Possible starters Saturday include forwards Nathan Hawkins and Kevin Hervey, center Johnny Hamilton and guards Erick Neal and DJ Bryant. Senior guard Kaelon Wilson returned to action as a reserve last weekend in Louisiana after suffering in injury on Feb. 1 against Appalachian State.
HEAD COACH SCOTT CROSS
Scott Cross, the winningest coach in program history, enters the ULM game with a 220-160 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
Despite a pair of offensive masterclass performances from Erick Neal, the Mavericks dropped a pair of Sun Belt contests at ULM and league-leading Louisiana. Neal scored 35 points against the Warhawks in an 84-71 setback, then dropped 26 at Louisiana.
ABOUT GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Under fifth year head coach Mark Byington, the Eagles bring a veteran team into College Park Center. Senior guard Tookie Brown is a 2-time all-Sun Belt honoree and, like UTA's Kevin Hervey, was on the mid-season watch list for the Lou Henson Award. He is the 10th player in the program's modern history to score more than 1,500 points. Backcourt mates Mike Hughes and Ike Smith are each all-league performers, while forward Jake Allsmiller and Montae Glenn combine to average nearly 18 points and 11 rebounds per game
Byington is 86-70 at Georgia Southern and 93-74 as a head coach after spending one year as the head man on an interim basis at the College of Charleston. In 2015, he earned the Whack Hyder Georgia College Coach of the Year and was the NABC District 24 Coach of the Year.
UTA has trailed at halftime in each of its last three games in College Park Center and came away with a win each time … The Mavericks are 38-5 over the last three seasons in College Park Center … The Georgia State game on Feb. 24 will serve as Senior Night. Pregame ceremonies will honor eight seniors: Mairega Clarke, Johnny Hamilton, Julian Harris, Nathan Hawkins, Kevin Hervey, Link Kabadyundi, Erick Neal and Kaelon Wilson.
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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