MBB North Texas Falls Despite Late Heroic Comeback Against San Diego

North Texas versus San Diego

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North Texas versus San Diego
A.J. Lawson shoots a 3-Pointer from the top of the key
San Diego 69
North Texas 68

Starters

Jeremy Combs
Rickey Brice, Jr
Allante Holston
A.J. Lawson
J-Mychal Reese

Player of the Game honors goes to Freshman A.J. Lawson, who recorded his 7th double digit game with 12 points to lead the team. He was 5 of 13 (38.5%) from the floor, 0 of 3 from behind the arc, and a pefect 2 of 2 from the Free Throw line. He also recorded 8 Rebounds (4 Offensive and Defensive each) while picking up an Assist and a Steal on 24 minutes of play. A.J. also leads the team with 120 points scored so far in the season with Deckie Johnson right behind him with 112 points.

Also in double digits was J-Mychal Reese and off the bench Ryan Woolridge each with 10 points. Shane Temara lead the team with three blocks while Allante Holston picked up two and Rickey Brice with one. Sadly, Rickey Brice only played for three whole minutes in the game.

The Mean Green begin Conference USA play with a two game road trip starting in Charlotte, NC on December 31st at 11:00 AM.

Game Stats

Mean Green Sports Recap

Denton Record Chronicle Recap

Hot Sports Opinion

This was not a good game for the Mean Green for  many reasons.

To start off with, you can tell the difference between the two teams in how well they are coached. San Diego made adjustments as the game went on and while North Texas managed to storm back to take the lead in the final seconds of the game if only briefly, it was because the San Diego bench was so short and the five starters each played more than 30 minutes each scoring all but three of the team’s points.

San Diego constantly got away with arm-bar push-offs throughout the the game and were only called on it late into the second half. A.J. Lawson took a forearm to the throat. While not intentional or malicious, the referees should have done better on calling fouls on this behavior and perhaps Lawson may have never been hit in the throat.

In the final seconds of the game, J-Mychal Reese drove the lane and made a lay-up only to have it called off on an offensive charge. I’ve seen plenty of games where something like this isn’t called, including the Sun Belt conference against UALR in 2011 where a Trojan player pushed off on a step back three late in the second half to basically win the game.

As a result of the offensive foul that was assessed to J-Mychal Reese, Head Coach Tony Benford came out quite a ways onto the court and was assessed a Technical Foul. Thankfully the USD player missed both shots even though there was only about 0.3 seconds left on the game clock, had those been made it basically would have eliminated all hope of a last second heave to win the game. I understand Benford is under immense pressure to win this season but I find it inexcusable to have a Technical Foul like that be assessed against you as it costs the team points in most cases.

After the game, words were exchanged between both Head Coaches, and later Associate Head Coach Rob Evans and an USD Assistant Coach. The North Texas players took offense to the minor exchange between Evans and the opposing coach which almost resulted in a brawl between the two teams, who had to be separated by staff members from both teams. I can’t say I blame the Mean Green players for this as the San Diego players perhaps celebrated their victory over the Mean Green a little too zealously after a couple hard fouls late into the game.

CUSA Action

Marshall 91
Cincinnati 93
F/OT

Howard 46
Old Dominion 65

San Diego State 66
Southern Miss 51

LSU Shreveport 53
Louisiana Tech 95

UC Irvine 62
UTEP 57

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