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Scott Cross, Kevin Hervey, and Cierra Johnson

Basketball teams take top Sun Belt Conference honors

March 7, 2017


Wednesday-Sunday, March 8-12
Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, La.

Game brackets
Men’s Basketball Tournament 
Women’s Basketball Tournament

Get Tickets
$15 single game
$275 VIP package, both tournaments

All games streamed live, ESPN3.
Championship game, 1 p.m. Sunday, March 12, ESPN2.

Maverick Sports Network

Watch Party
March 8-12, The Grease Monkey, 200 N. Mesquite St., Arlington

UTA’s men’s and women’s basketball teams took top honors in the Sun Belt Conference this week, including Coach of the Year and two Player of the Year titles.

The Maverick men’s team clinched its first Sun Belt title and the third regular season championship in program history after a 24-7 overall and 14-4 conference season. The Mavs enter this week's Sun Belt Championship Tournament as the top seed and received a first round bye. UTA will face the winner of No. 8 Coastal Carolina and No. 9 South Alabama in the quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 10.

The Lady Mavericks concluded the regular season with a 21-7 overall record and earned the No. 2 seed after a 14-4 conference record. UTA was one of four teams to earn a first-round bye and will play its first game at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 9, on ESPN3.

SCOTT CROSS—Joe Gottfried Coach of the Year

Cross secured his 201st win this season, his 11th year as the Mavericks’ head coach. He is the second-longest tenured NCAA Division I head coach in Texas and has the most wins and highest winning percentage in UTA’s history. Cross, the 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, played for the Mavericks 1996-98, then served as assistant coach before becoming head coach in 2006.

KEVIN HERVEY—Player of the Year

The junior forward recovered from missing the final 19 games last season after suffering a season-ending knee injury to enter this week's SBC Championship Tournament with averages of 17.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He has registered 14 double-doubles and surpassed 20 points on 10 occasions. Hervey also made the First Team All-Sun Belt and the U.S. Basketball Writers of America’s All-District VII honor team.

CIERRA JOHNSON—Defensive Player of the Year

A finalist for the conference’s defensive award for three consecutive seasons, the junior guard has numbers that have not only been tops in the league, but also are among the best in the nation. Her 3.1 steals per game are best in the Sun Belt and 18th in the nation.

REBEKAH VANDIJK— First Team All-Sun Belt

VanDijk earned her second consecutive All-Sun Belt selection, averaging 15.8 points per game and 9.1 rebounds on the way to 12 double-doubles. She scored in double figures in 24 of 28 games this season. The junior center was the lone player in the league to be in the top-three in both points and rebounds.

ERICK NEAL—Second Team All-Sun Belt

The junior guard was a first team all-league selection as a sophomore and currently ranks among the top 10 nationally in assists. Neal earned national recognition as the mid-major player of the week by several publications in early December, then gained notoriety last month when he drained a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining at Georgia State.

Read more about the men’s team and women’s team honors.