North Texas Daily

Controversial call halts men’s basketball’s rally, sparks scuffle in loss to San Diego

Controversial call halts men’s basketball’s rally, sparks scuffle in loss to San Diego

North Texas senior guard J-Mychal Reese drives the baseline for a layup against San Diego. Colin Mitchell

Controversial call halts men’s basketball’s rally, sparks scuffle in loss to San Diego
December 23
02:11 2016

Down one with seconds to go, North Texas men’s basketball needed a bucket.

So senior guard J-Mychal Reese took matters into his own hands.

After San Diego University hit a late three to take the lead, Reese took the ensuing inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor – hard. He made one move when he crossed halfcourt and floated a shot that found the bottom of the net for what appeared to be the game-winner.

Then came the dreaded whistle.

Reese’s shot was waived off on a controversial charging foul that denied the Mean Green (6-6) of their second straight win in a 69-68 loss to the Toreros (7-5).

“I felt the opening,” Reese said of his basket that was nullified. “Maybe he slid under me. I don’t know. I just saw the shot and tried to get it in.”

But the fun didn’t stop there.

North Texas was issued a technical foul after the charging call, and words were exchanged between both benches when the final buzzer sounded. As a result, a small scuffle near midcourt broke out, and neither teams shook hands – a ritual in college basketball.

North Texas and San Diego exchange words following the game. San Diego won on a controversial charge call, ending the game 69-68. Colin Mitchell

North Texas and San Diego exchange words following the game. San Diego won on a controversial charge call, ending the game 69-68. Colin Mitchell

“I was just having a conversation with [the San Diego head coach] after the game about an issue,” head coach Tony Benford said of the altercation. “There were a couple of things said by their assistant coach that was disrespectful I thought.”

The Mean Green trailed by as much as 20 points, and held a lead for only three seconds. In the first half, San Diego forward Brett Bailey lit the Mean Green up for 14 points, as North Texas was continuously confused or late on defensive rotations.

To counter Bailey, Benford made the decision to go small with four guards, adding speed and perimeter defending. Because of this, Bailey made only one shot in the second half.

“We did a great job denying him [the catch],” Benford said. “When he went in the post we said ‘front him in the post and give weak side help.'”

Freshman guard A.J. Lawson was the main defender on Bailey down the stretch, and finished with 12 points and one steal.

“We came together as a team and needed to stop [him],” Lawson said. “We all sat down and I think we just played really good defense.”

North Texas brought the game to within four at 62-58 with 3:43 remaining following an and-one by freshman guard Ryan Woolridge, which flipped the momentum to the Mean Green.

Both teams then traded punches as North Texas took its first lead of the game with 28 seconds left on a driving layup by Reese.

The lead, however, was short lived.

San Diego guard Olin Carter III caught the defense off guard on the next possession and hit a step-back corner three that would ultimately be the winner after Reese’s shot was denied by the referee. The loss concludes non-conference play for the Mean Green.

Next up: North Texas travels to take on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30.

Featured Image: North Texas senior guard J-Mychal Reese drives the baseline for a layup against San Diego. Colin Mitchell

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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