North Texas Daily

Huge first half guides UNT men’s basketball to victory

Huge first half guides UNT men’s basketball to victory

Huge first half guides UNT men’s basketball to victory
November 27
02:31 2013

John Lugo / Staff Writer

Holding a 26-point advantage at halftime, the Mean Green men’s basketball team (4-3) secured a win against the University of The Incarnate Word (5-1) by a final score of 84-67.

The 42-16 halftime lead was the biggest for UNT since Dec. 12, 2011. In the first half, the Mean Green displayed their defensive capabilities, only allowing 24 percent shooting, out-rebounding UIW 26-15 and recording five blocks.

“We did a great job of coming out and taking our scouting report to the floor, getting to their shooters and did not let them get going early,” head coach Tony Benford said. “Everybody went in the game in the first half and played hard, and we have to continue to do that.”

The team shot 44 percent overall and 46 percent on three-pointers, with junior guard Jordan Williams leading the way with 19 points and eight rebounds thanks to some advice from his head coach.

“He told me to start slashing more and getting offensive rebounds,” Williams said. “So I did that and took the open shots, took the open driving lanes, tried to see what I could get and got some good looks.”

Senior guard Brandan Walton had the best shooting night from behind the three-point line for UNT, and said he also credits Benford for getting him shot opportunities.

“He is definitely big on being confident in your shot. You don’t want to be hesitant,” Walton said. “Tonight I took some pretty good shots and my teammates were able to find me during plays.”

The Mean Green bench proved to be a big help in the first half as well, scoring 21 of the 42 points. Benford said he has at least 10 players that are capable of starting for the team.

“All my guys could probably average double digit minutes,” Benford said. “We got a lot of different ways we can play and we’re going to continue to get better.”

Incarnate Word came to life in the second half and scored 51 points, but could never draw closer than within 15 points with 1:55 remaining in the game.

Southeastern Louisiana

In the first game after Thanksgiving, the Mean Green face Southeastern Louisiana University (3-2) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Super Pit. UNT has the all-time record advantage against the Lions at 4-2, defeating the team 45-40 last season.

“We have to contain the basketball. They’re well-coached, so they execute well offensively,” Benford said. “They’re a good team, so we’re going to be challenged on Saturday.”

Feature photo: Junior guard T.J. Taylor shoots the ball for a basket over a University of The Incarnate Word opponent’s head during a home game tonight at the Super Pit. Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

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