North Texas Daily

Brief: Mean Green men’s basketball advances in tourney after overtime thriller

Brief: Mean Green men’s basketball advances in tourney after overtime thriller

March 11
23:28 2014

Akshay Mirchandani // Staff Writer

With 18.6 seconds left in regulation, the Mean Green men’s basketball team trailed by 56-54 to the Rice University Owls in the first round of the Conference USA tournament Tuesday in El Paso.

That’s when junior guard Chris Jones sunk a pair of free throws to force overtime with the Owls. With 11 seconds left in overtime, the Owls once again held a lead over UNT, this time 62-61. Once more, Jones stepped to the line and hit two more free throws to seal a 63-62 victory.

The Mean Green (16-15, 7-10) trailed the Owls (7-23, 2-15) 30-21 after the end of the first half, but a 12-2 run in the second half helped UNT take a 41-39 lead with 9:06 left in regulation. Rice went on a run of its own in the second half and held a 56-52 lead with 1:47 remaining in regulation, but the Mean Green chipped away and were able to force overtime after Jones’ free throws.

The Owls held a 62-58 lead with a 1:51 left to go in overtime, but senior guard Brandan Walton hit a three-pointer with a 1:38 left to trim the Rice lead to 62-61 to set the stage for Jones again.

Next up, the Mean Green will play No. 7 Tulane University at noon Wednesday in the second round of the conference tournament. The teams met Jan. 11 in Denton, where Tulane beat UNT 73-62.

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