The UT Arlington Mavericks defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 91-67 Saturday evening.
The boys in blue had a short turnaround this week coming off a 86-76 win at home against Troy Thursday night. This win brings the Mavs record to 11-6, 2-2 Sun Belt.
The Mavericks now have a 6-3 series advantage against the Jaguars having won the last three games against South Alabama. They had two victories last season in Mobile (89-83) and in Arlington (86-75.)
Five Mavericks scored double figures against the defending Sun Belt Conference Tournament Champions. The Maverick first half leader was center Johnny Hamilton who had an impressive 18 points and 12 rebounds for an explosive performance.
Guard Kaelon Wilson ended the night with 19 points, five rebounds. It’s definitely worth noting that Kaelon, as Coach Cross explained, has stepped up his game this season in a major way by attending early morning shooting sessions throughout the week to improve his three-point shooting.
Forward Kevin Hervey, who is among the Mavs leading scorers, came to life during the second half with 16 points and 10 rebounds. South Alabama Head Coach Matthew Graves knew it would be a challenge to guard Hervey recognizing his versatility to both post and shoot successfully.
“He’s a guy we want to get the ball in his hands,” said Coach Cross on Hervey. “He did a good job of not forcing anything and if the shot was there- taking it, if not then skipping it to the open guy.”
To top off a victorious night for the Mavericks, congratulations are also in order for Eric Neal who was announced the UTA Maverick all time assist leader. Neal fought through a bad back, which is likely the reason he seem to struggle offensively.
“I was a little banged up but I fought through it for my teammates,” said Neal. [on his achievement] “It’s one of the best accomplishments in the world… no better feeling in the world.”
Next up the UTA Mavericks will face the Little Rock Trojans (4-13) next Thursday and then Arkansas State (6-11) on Saturday for a two-game trip in hopes of keeping their short winning streak alive.
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