ARLINGTON, Texas — Junior point guard Erick Neal recorded his fifth career double-double and added a career-high two blocks, leading UTA men’s basketball to an 80-71 win over Mount St. Mary’s, on Wednesday night at College Park Center.
Neal, a native of Dallas, Texas, notched his first double-double of the season, totaling 13 points and 10 assists, while adding a career-best two blocks and four steals.
The Mavs posted their second consecutive win, besting St. Francis (Ill.) on Monday to return from a three-game road swing. UTA used a strong defensive effort, forcing 23 turnovers, notching 10 steals and four blocks.
UTA (3-3) led for the majority of the contest, including a 35-34 halftime lead. The Mavericks stretched its lead to 12 in the second half, spurred by off-the-bench performances from Nathan Hawkins and Kaelon Wilson.
Wilson had three key baskets in the first 10 minutes in the second half while showing a trademark ability at attacking the basket, helping stretch the Mavs lead to eight points. He and Hawkins helped turn the tide of the game in the final period, with Hawkins drilling a pair of 3 pointers among his 10 points in the frame. Wilson had eight points in the final stanza.
Senior forward Faith Pope helped finish off the win with a drive to the basket to give UTA a 12-point lead heading to the under seven timeout in the second half, the seventh consecutive basket for the Mavs from the field. Pope also had a slam on an in-bounds play with two seconds left on the shot clock and under two minutes remaining in regulation to help clinch the win.
Mount St. Mary’s (1-5) saw guards Elijah Long and Miles Wilson combine for 51 points. Long had 27 points, five assists and five rebounds, with Wilson charting 26 points and three rebounds.