North Texas Daily

Jeremy Combs’ gutsy performance on his birthday not enough to give men’s basketball a win

Jeremy Combs’ gutsy performance on his birthday not enough to give men’s basketball a win

North Texas sophomore forward Jeremy Combs (1) weaves between defenders to get to the basket for a layup against Idaho. Nathan Roberts | Contributing Photographer

Jeremy Combs’ gutsy performance on his birthday not enough to give men’s basketball a win
November 24
22:54 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

A North Texas win would have been a good 20th birthday present for sophomore forward Jeremy Combs. And for most of the second half, he looked determined to make it happen, scoring 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds by night’s end.

Combs was also the driving force behind a 17-2 Mean Green run that eliminated a nine point Samford University lead and gave his team its first lead of the second half. But unfortunately for the birthday boy, it was all for not, as the Bulldogs made five of their final seven shots en route to a 74-72 win over North Texas.

“I was just trying to play hard for my teammates like I always do,” Combs said. “I always feel like I have to step up and be a leader.”

The Mean Green offense came out flat in the first half, scoring just 30 points on 40 percent shooting from the field. But Combs remained one of the only bright spots for North Texas, tying for the team lead in points with five going into halftime. Additionally, Combs made play after play on both ends of the court to give his team a spark, something head coach Tony Benford said the team cannot take for granted.

“He was huge,” Benford said. “I’m disappointed on his birthday we couldn’t pull it out. He played hard and battled against a lot of bigger guys like he always does.”

Combs found himself on the ground several times throughout the game, which led to the sophomore going to the charity stripe 16 times. He made 75 percent of his free throws, which was an improvement after shooting only 62 percent heading into the game. His ability to get to the line in key moments also slowed the game down for North Texas and allowed them to regroup, especially during the first half when the offense struggled.

But one problem throughout the game for the whole team was it’s inability to break the Samford full court press. Junior guard J-Mychal Reese said the team needs to take better care of the ball and not force the issue.

“We just need to make sure everyone is in the right spot and take our time,” Reese said

Combs said even though he did not get a win on his birthday, he is anxious to play tomorrow and is not disheartened.

“I’m not disappointed,” Combs said. “I’m just happy we played hard.”

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore forward Jeremy Combs (1) weaves between defenders to get to the basket for a layup against Idaho. Nathan Roberts | Contributing Photographer

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