North Texas Daily

Double-overtime win highlights men’s basketball road tourney

Double-overtime win highlights men’s basketball road tourney

Double-overtime win highlights men’s basketball road tourney
November 24
22:42 2013

John Lugo / Staff Writer

The Mean Green men’s basketball team played three games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic that took place in Portland, Ore., this week, finishing with a 1-2 record for the tournament and moving to 3-3 on the season.

The two losses were against Columbia University and the University of Idaho on Thursday and Friday, while the team won a double-overtime thriller against University of Portland on Saturday to end the trip on a positive note. The effort in the final game pleased head coach Tony Benford.

“We have to compete and play hard every possession, and I thought we did that,” Benford said. “We showed a lot of heart, we played together, we shared the basketball.”

Columbia

In the 70-66 loss to Columbia, the Mean Green couldn’t find a way to defend against the three-pointer, as the Lions hit 12 three-pointers while UNT hit only five. Vertrail Vaughns led the way with 18 points, including 13 points in the last six minutes of the game to get the team within two points.

UNT cut the lead to two points with six minutes remaining, but Columbia’s 47.1 percent field goal shooting and 57.4 percent shooting from three-point range proved to be too much to handle.

Idaho

The 87-76 loss against the University of Idaho told a similar story, as the Vandals made 75 percent of their three-pointers in the second half to quickly turn a nine-point lead into a 20-point lead in just three minutes.

The combination of Idaho’s hot shooting and UNT’s lack of defensive intensity resulted in the double-digit loss.

“We just have to start from the jump. We waited until the second half to really step it up on defense,” senior guard Alzee Williams said. “We just have to pick it up and play with more energy and more intensity.”

Portland

UNT against the University of Portland resulted in an extra 10 minutes of basketball, as the Mean Green defeated the Pilots 77-72 in double overtime after trailing by 14 points in the second half.

Trailing 53-51 near the end of regulation, junior guard Chris Jones made a layup to send the game to overtime. Then, at the end of the first overtime period, T.J. Taylor sent the Mean Green to a second overtime with a basket of his own, where UNT was able to secure the win.

It was the first double-overtime game for UNT since February 2012. Junior guard T.J. Taylor, after scoring 24 points against Idaho, led the way again with 21 points, including two three-pointers in the second overtime period.

“It was all a mental thing,” Taylor said. “They kept telling me to be a killer, so I just took it in stride and did what I could for the team and came out with the [win].”

The team returns to Denton to play University of the Incarnate Word on Tuesday in the Super Pit at 7 p.m.

Feature photo: Junior guard Jordan Williams shoots the ball and makes a basket during a home game against Southeastern Oklahoma on Nov. 4 at the Super Pit. Photo by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor 

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