BOONE, N.C. -- The UT Arlington men’s basketball team looks to get back on the winning track Sunday when it visits the Holmes Convocation Center to face Appalachian State to conclude the opening weekend of Sun Belt Conference competition.
The game is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. (CST) tipoff and will be preceded by a Sun Belt women’s contest featuring the UTA Lady Mavs at Appalachian State beginning at 11 a.m. (CST). Click here for coverage links of the women’s contest.
The Sun Belt favorite Mavericks are coming off last night’s disappointing 90-65 loss at Coastal Carolina to open conference play. UTA fell to 9-5 on the season and lost its conference opener for the first time in three seasons.
Appalachian State brings a 6-8 record into tomorrow’s game, but the Mountaineers have won all five of their home games that includes last night’s 66-62 win over Texas State to open legue play.
Following Sunday’s game at the Mountaineers, UTA returns to College Park Center Thursday to host Troy at 7:15 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH / LISTEN
Sunday’s game will not be televised. A live video stream will be available on AppStateSports.com with Harrison Battle and Randy Jackson calling the action. 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 owns a 6-1 series lead over the Mountaineers dating back to the first meeting on Dec. 2, 1983, a 73-72 first round victory in the first round of the Aces Invitational in Evansville, Ind. Since UTA joined the Sun Belt, the Mavericks own a 5-1 mark against Appalachian State with the only loss being a 72-60 setback on Mar. 7, 2015 in Boone. UTA has won two of the three contests between the two teams in Boone, including an 83-67 victory last season.
ABOUT THE MAVS
UTA enters Sunday’s game with a 9-5 record and a 0-1 mark in the Sun Belt following last night’s 90-65 loss at Coastal Carolina. After winning seven of their first eight games, the Mavericks have fallen short in four of their last six contests. UTA is 5-1 within the friendly confines of College Park Center, but have found life on the road a little more difficult with a 3-4 mark.
Senior guard Erick Neal ranks third nationally in average assists and enters Sunday’s game just one assist shy of equaling the program record for career assists. Forward Kevin Hervey, ranked among the top 15 nationally in scoring average, needs just 12 points to move into third on the UTA career scoring chart. Hervey is also just six rebounds away from fifth on the program’s list for career rebounds.
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 213-153 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
In last night’s 90-65 loss at Coastal Carolina, the Mavericks shot just 37.9 percent from the field, their second-lowest mark of the season, and allowed the Chanticleers to connect on 50 percent of their shots. Jaylen Shaw led all scorers with 26 points, while five different CCU players scored in double figures. Kaelon Wilson led UTA with 17 points, while Johnny Hamilton added 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals.
ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE
Under fourth year head coach Jim Fox, Appalachian State enters Friday’s game with a 6-8 overall record following its home victory over Texas State to open Sun Belt play. The Mountaineers own a stellar 5-0 record at home with wins over Davidson and South Florida inside the Holmes Convocation Center. Against the Bobcats, Ronshad Shabazz scored 20 points, while Justin Forrest added 14 – including the game winning 3-pointers with just :16 seconds left. The Mountaineers rank 14th nationally in total rebounds, led by Isaac Johnson’s 8.1 per game. Appalachian State also ranks among the top 20 nationally in free throw attempts, 3-point attempts and total made 3-pointers.
UTA’s Erick Neal enters Sunday’s game with 649 career assists, one shy of Ronnell Peters’ program record of 650 from 1982-86. Neal owns two of the top three single season totals and currently ranks third nationally at 8.8 per game … Kevin Hervey enters the game with 1,399 career points, just 12 shy of Steven Thomas (1,411 from 2002-06) for third on the program’s scoring list. Anthony Vereen ranks second with 1,477 points between 2005-09 … Hervey will also be looking to move into fifth place in career rebounds. He has 754, which is just six shy of Jordan Reves’ 760 from 2010-13..
HOLIDAY HOOPS YOUTH TICKETS
For the entire holiday season (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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