Dec. 28, 2017
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington men's basketball team opens its fifth season of Sun Belt Conference competition Friday when it travels to Conway, S.C. to face the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at 6 p.m. (CST) in the HTC Center.
The Mavericks concluded their non-league schedule on Dec. 21 with a 77-56 home victory over Cal Poly to move to 9-4 on the season. Coastal Carolina enters Friday's game with a 6-7 record and finished a difficult home schedule with a 3-4 mark.
The game will be preceded by the UTA women's basketball team at Coastal Carolina starting at 2:30 p.m. (CST). Click here for coverage links of the women's contest.
Following Friday's game at the Chanticleers, UTA will travel to Boone, N.C. Sunday for a 1:30 p.m. contest at Appalachian State The Mavericks have a quick turnaround, returning to College Park Center on Monday before hosting Troy on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH / LISTEN
Friday's game will be televised live on ESPN2 and streamed online via WatchESPN.com and the popular WatchESPN app with Dave LaMont and Chris Spatola on the call. 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 the Chanticleers had never played before Coastal Carolina joined the Sun Belt Conference last season. The Mavericks won two of the three contests between the two teams last year, but dropped a 72-70 decision in Conway when Kevin Hervey's last second shot bounced off the rim. UTA defeated CCU in Arlington, the Chanticleers' first-ever Sun Belt men's basketball contest then won by 23 points in the league championship quarterfinals in New Orleans.
ABOUT THE MAVS
UTA enters Friday's game with a 9-4 record following its home victory over Cal Poly on Dec. 21. The Mavericks opened the season with seven wins in their first eight games, but dropped three of four to teams expected to win league titles. Picked by league coaches to win its second straight Sun Belt title, UTA has the second most victories among the 23 NCAA Division I programs in the state of Texas over the last two seasons and the Cal Poly win moved the Mavs to an impressive 32-4 in College Park Center over the last three years.
Senior guard Erick Neal faces the Chanticleers just seven shy of the program's career assist record with 643 in his 3-plus seasons. The Dallas native enters Friday's game ranked third in the nation in assists and is among the program's all-scoring leaders with 1,161 points.
Reigning SBC Player of the Year Kevin Hervey ranks sixth in the country in scoring with an average of 23.6 points per game and is second in the Sun Belt with an average of 9.3 rebounds per outing. The Arlington native has surpassed 20 points in 10 of his 12 appearances and enters Friday's game with 4-straight double-doubles.
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 213-151 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
Visiting Cal Poly took a 2-point lead early in the second half, but UTA used a couple of scoring runs to race to a comfortable 77-56 victory on Dec. 21 in College Park Center. Hervey registered his 31st career double-double (a program record) with 25 points and 10 rebounds, which included an impressive 5-for-7 performance from behind the 3-point arc.
ABOUT COASTAL CAROLINA
Under 11th year head coach Cliff Ellis, the only coach in NCAA Division I history to win 170 games with four difference programs, Coastal Carolina enters Friday's game with a 6-7 record but has been tested with losses on its record to South Carolina, Wake Forest, Vermont and Wofford. The Chanticleers are coming off a tight 65-67 setback on Dec. 22 to College of Charleston. Junior Zac Cuthbertson leads the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Senior Jaylen Shaw, scores 16 points, while handing out 5.0 assists per game.
Four of the Sun Belt Conference's teams concluded the non-league with at least 9 wins ... three Sun Belt teams are ranked among the top 20 in the collegeinsiders.com mid-major top 25 poll ... Hervey enters Friday's game at Coastal Carolina less than 20 points away from third on the school's all-time scoring list. He has 1,392 points and is nearing Steven Thomas, who scored 1,411 points from 2002-06 ... Neal is just 7 assists away from becoming the program's all-time career leader in that category ... UTA's next home game is scheduled for Jan. 4 against Troy ... 24 of UTA's 31 regular season will appear on national television or a major live streaming network ... UTA is 8-1 when leading at halftime with the only loss occurring at Alabama ... Neal enters Thursday's game 13 points away from Marquez Haynes for 14th on the program's scoring list ... The Mavericks are 32-4 in College Park Center over the last three seasons.
HOLIDAY HOOPS YOUTH TICKETS
For the entire month of December (through Jan. 6), 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.
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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