North Texas finds yet itself battling it out in an ugly slugfest, this time with Rice Owls in the final game of a three game homestand. In the first half, neither team was able to find much of a groove, with both teams scoring a mere 51 combined. The second half is where the fireworks really started with shots finally falling, numerous lead changes and ties, and the outcome of the game not being decided until the final seconds when Ryan Woolridge hitting one of his two free throws to put the Mean Green up by 4 with 8 seconds left in the game.
|Scores by Period||1st Half||2nd Half||Total|
Allante Holston Provides Spark for a Mean Green Comeback
Allante Holston had himself a amazing night with a season high of 13 points, a steal, 7 total rebounds, and a monstrous dunk that sparked the Mean Green and the crowd in the Super Pit. He was 5 of 7 (71.4%) from the floor and 3 of 4 (75%) from the free throw line. Allante also picked up 4 defensive and 3 offensive rebounds. Before Allante’s dunk, the Mean Green were down 8 and struggling to find any offense. Allante would then make that dunk on a feed from Ryan Woolridge. Two possessions later Allante would get a steal and take it coast to coast with a lay up, and suddenly North Texas was only down 4 points (57-53) with just under 7 minutes remaining in the game. From that point forward, North Texas would outscore the Owls 21-13.
Winning Record in SIght
North Texas currently sits at 13-10, 6-4 and needs three more wins to finish the regular season above .500. A level the Mean Green haven’t seen since Johnny Jones was the head coach in 2011-2012 when the Mean Green finished with a 18-14 record. North texas did finish at 16-16 in 2013-2014 however under Benford did the Mean Green win more than they lost. There are no easy wins left on the schedule and everyone is fighting for position
The Mean Green will now enter into perhaps the toughest part of their schedule and play
four three of the top five teams in Conference USA – at UAB, at Middle Tennessee State, versus Western Kentucky, and versus Marshall. In order to try to keep pace with the top portion of the conference, it is important for North Texas to 2-2 in these next four games. The Mean Green have shown an ability to win struggling games. However, should Roosevelt, Woolridge, and Lawson all were to get hot at the same time, this team team could make some huge waves.
In the next game against UAB, a win will likely help the Mean Green in its quest for the 4th seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Unfortunately North Texas has to play the UAB Blazers in Birmingham, who are 11-2 in their home digs — the Bartow Arena — this season. The Balzers average 77.9 points per game, which puts them 7th in Div. 1, so the Mean Green defense is going to have their work cut out. In their last 5 games, the Blazers haven’t been able to string up consecutive wins and have struggled against teams with winning records. The Blazers are beatable but it will be a tough task on the road.
I almost expect a tournament style fervor to be played in this game given the importance a win means for both teams.
|UT San Antonio||6-5||13-11|