Instant Classic, Mean Green Drop Heartbreaker at UT Arlington

Dec. 2, 2017

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ARLINGTON, TX - With 23 seconds remaining in a tie game, UT Arlington's Kevin Hervey hit a jumper and North Texas men's basketball missed a last second layup to drop a thriller 65-60 Saturday night at College Park Center.

North Texas (4-5) put together another impressive road effort but fell just short after sophomore guard A.J. Lawson missed a layup with seven seconds left. UTA nailed three of four free throws in the closing seconds to come away with the victory.

"As a team we still have a long way to go if we want to win," head coach Grant McCasland said. "I thought at times we really competed hard but couldn't find a way to win the 50-50 balls."

The Mean Green had another solid performance on the glass outrebounding the Mavericks, 49-39, and had 19 offensive rebounds. Senior forward Shane Temara finished with his second double-double of the season on 15 points and 14 rebounds.

UTA's Kevin Hervey continued his solid play against the Mean Green with his third 20-point outing, finishing with 23 points and eight rebounds. Erick Neal, the nation's leading assist man, was held to just three assists and five turnovers.

Redshirt sophomore DJ Draper provided a spark in the second half scoring six points and played tough defense on Neal in 21 minutes.

"Bringing in DJ Draper in the second half really changed the game for us," McCasland said. "He is someone I know will do anything we ask of him and he made it tough for Neal defensively."

It was a tough shooting night for North Texas going 6-for-26 from the three-point line and just 12-for-23 from the free throw line. Both teams combined to miss 28 free throws in the contest.

The Mavericks started to pull away in the second half taking a 40-28 lead after two free throws from Hervey with 12:45 remaining.

Draper cut the lead to nine points after hitting three free throws and junior Allante Holston followed with a bucket to make the score 40-33.

North Texas kept battling with a 7-1 run to pull within three points at 45-42 with 8:43 left.

Down the stretch, the Mean Green fell behind 53-48 after a tip-in from Hervey with 6:24 remaining. North Texas tied the game after Smart hit two free throws and nailed a three-pointer at the 5:25 mark.

Three minutes later, Hervey made two free throws to give UTA a 57-55 lead but Smart answered again with a three-pointer off the glass. Temara would tie the game at 60-60 off a pass from Lawson with 45 second left.

The game featured seven ties and eight lead changes before Hervey's heroics at the end.

The Mean Green trailed 24-22 on the road at UTA thanks to 11 offensive rebounds and a 29-16 advantage on the glass. Temara had six points and nine rebounds in the first half.

UT Arlington went ahead early 9-6 off a dunk by Johnny Hamilton at the 14 minute mark. North Texas went on an 11-2 run capped by a dunk from Temara to make it 17-11 Mean Green.

The Mavericks tied the game at 17-17 after a 6-0 run with Davion Turner hitting a three-pointer at the 4:47 mark.

Junior guard Jorden Duffy nailed a three-pointer to give North Texas a 22-19 lead but UTA closed the half scoring the final five points.

Lawson added six points and four rebounds in the opening frame.

Up Next
North Texas will return home for a two-game home stand starting with Indiana State on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Super Pit.

Mean Green Quick Hitters
• North Texas starters for the fourth-straight game: Ryan Woolridge, Roosevelt Smart, A.J. Lawson, Zachary Simmons, Shane Temara
• UTA has won five games in a row in the all-time series
• Seventh game in double-figures for Roosevelt Smart
• Sixth game in double-figures for Shane Temara, second double-double of the season
• The Mean Green outrebounded UTA 49-38, including 19 offensive rebounds


 

 

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