North Texas Daily

Early offensive effort boosts men’s basketball to win

Early offensive effort boosts men’s basketball to win

Early offensive effort boosts men’s basketball to win
January 22
21:45 2022

Following their win over the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Thursday night, North Texas took down Old Dominion University in a 69-56 win Saturday night.

The Mean Green (13-4, 6-1 Conference USA) shot the ball at high efficiency in the first half, nailing 75 percent of their field goals, with six of those shots from beyond the arc. Going into halftime, North Texas held a 40-21 lead over ODU (7-11, 2-3 C-USA).

Head coach Grant McCasland said the team’s ability to share the ball was crucial to getting the early lead.

“There were a lot of guys contributing to baskets,” McCasland said. “When teams can’t focus on one person, then I think that’s ultimately how you separate.”

Midway through the second half, North Texas began to struggle on the offensive side of the ball and failed to score for five minutes. During that stretch, Old Dominion drew within seven points of the Mean Green lead, but never got any closer afterward.

“The biggest thing is just staying together,” sophomore guard Rubin Jones said. “In the second half, they went on a run, and everyone was talking about keeping the next man up.”

Mean Green leading scorer, junior guard Tylor Perry exited the game in the first half after taking a hard fall. With Perry out, fifth-year forward Thomas Bell and Jones filled the void left on offense.

Jones put up a career-high 16 points, and Bell led the team in points, assists and rebounds, finishing with a line of 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

“I thought Thomas [Bell] was terrific,” McCasland said. “It took him a little bit to settle in, but once he did in that first-half run, he took command of the game and made some great plays.”

After Saturday night’s win, North Texas is now in a three-way tie for first place in the C-USA West Division with The University of Alabama-Birmingham and Louisiana Tech University.

The Mean Green have won 11 games out of their last 12, accruing five wins in a row in that span. North Texas hits the road on Thursday to take on The University of Southern Mississippi Thursday night.

Featured image: sophomore guard Rubin Jones shoots the ball during a game at the UNT Super Pit on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane.

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Tyler Luker

Tyler Luker

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