The Mavericks (10-6) hosted the Sun Belt Conference opponent to break their 0-2 conference streak after road losses to Coastal Carolina (90-65) and Appalachian State (80-76.)
The last time these two teams met was in February of last year when UTA won 82-67 in College Park. UTA now leads the series 6-3.
Troy got off to a hot start as they held a nine point lead over the Mavericks within the first few minutes of the game, but the Mavericks played with such an intensity during the entire game it was clear they would not be tamed.
Leading the Mavericks was guard Erick Neal with 21 points and seven assists. Forward Kevin Hervey ended the night with 19 points, three assists and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Kaelon Wilson stepped up big for the Mavs tonight with 16 points and 10 big rebounds (four offensive) that resulted in big plays for UTA. Wilson also hit his first double-double for the season.
The Mavericks held the Trojans to 40% from the field and 39% from the three-point line which is “a little bit higher from the three” than Coach Cross would’ve liked, but the overall defensive performance from UTA was enough to end the night with a solid conference victory.
“It was against a tough team that I was worried about,” said Coach Cross regarding the win. “But now I think our guys are confident and we’ll start to see the Maverick basketball team we’re used to watching, but we have to understand our guys have to continue playing defense like they did tonight. That’s where it all starts.”
The UT Arlington Mavericks will be back at it when they host South Alabama (8-7) this Saturday at College Park.