UT Arlington put a lot of emotion on the line in Thursday’s home loss to Georgia State, but it can’t linger long with another loss to avenge Saturday.
The Mavericks host Troy at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at College Park Center. The Trojans beat UTA 71-66 on Jan. 5 in Alabama.
UTA kept Georgia State in check for most of the game Thursday, and led 62-51 with 11:14 to play. But GSU closed with a 37-12 run to win 88-74.
In the Mavericks’ loss to Troy, the Trojans closed the game on a 16-5 run.
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“[Thursday’s game] was a very similar situation where we turned it over a couple of times and got tight,” coach Scott Cross said. “They’re good, but they don’t have the same type of firepower Georgia State brings.”
The Trojans (7-12 overall) are last in the Sun Belt standings at 2-8, but they feature a dynamic freshman scorer in Wesley Person, who scored 31 against the Mavericks last time out.
Closing games has been a struggle for the Mavericks (12-8) all season, but it’s not something that freshman Kevin Hervey worries about. After Thursday’s loss, Hervey remained upbeat.
“We learn from every game, win or lose. So the next game, we’ve just got to go out and play tougher,” he said.
Hervey’s emergence as a scoring threat opens up the UTA offense when teams play a zone defense. He’s averaging 15.5 points in UTA’s past two games and he’s one of six Mavericks averaging more than seven points per game for the season.
A win would help the fourth-place Mavericks keep pace in the compact Sun Belt race. Georgia State leads at 7-2, followed by Georgia State and Louisiana-Monroe at 7-3 and UTA at 6-4.
UTA men vs. Troy
7:15 p.m. Saturday
College Park Center
Radio: KKGM 1630 AM
Records: UTA 12-8, 6-4; Troy 7-12, 2-8