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Free throws push the Mean Green men’s basketball team to a win

Free throws push the Mean Green men’s basketball team to a win

Free throws push the Mean Green men’s basketball team to a win
November 15
00:54 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

With a solid shooting performance from UNT at the free throw stripe, the Mean Green men’s basketball team defeated Nicholls State University 92-78 on Thursday.

“You got to give Nicholls credit. They came in here real scrappy and played hard,” head coach Tony Benford said. “They are coached really well and have some serious shooters on that team.”

The Mean Green fell behind early in the game and didn’t see its first lead until the final minutes of the first half, after a three pointer from sophomore forward Maurice Aniefiok that pushed UNT ahead 33-32.

In the second half, the lead changed hands on eight different occasions. With the score tied at 60, the Mean Green went on a 32-18 run to close out the game.

“All the extra reps in practice and coach preaching about defense really helped us close it out,” junior guard T.J. Taylor said. “It doesn’t matter about offense, to close out it is all about defense.”

Nicholls State struggled with fouls the whole game. The 29 personal fouls resulted in 39 points for the Mean Green off free throws, the fourth most free throws ever made in a single game for UNT.

UNT had its own problems, committing 16 turnovers and allowing Nicholls State to score 16 points off turnovers.

Aniefiok led the charge off the bench with the hot hand. He finished as the team’s leading scorer with 21 points and 10 rebounds on 6-8 shooting, including a trio of three pointers. It is his first double-double performance as a member of the Mean Green.

“I just took it upon myself because I knew that we needed to score,” Aniefiok said. “We just didn’t want anybody to just come into our house and punk us. We needed buckets and they left me open so I decided to take the shots.”

The game was the first meeting between the Mean Green (2-1) and the Colonels (0-3) since December 2006 and the fourth consecutive victory for UNT.

Next, the Mean Green will travel to Portland, Ore. to take on Columbia University in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Nov. 21. Game starts at 5 p.m.

Box score

Feature photo: Junior forward Colin Voss takes control of the ball while a Nicholls State University opponent tries to steal the ball during tonight’s home game at the Super Pit. Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

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