North Texas Daily

Johnson leads comeback charge as men’s basketball tops FIU

Johnson leads comeback charge as men’s basketball tops FIU

Junior point guard J-Mychal Reese (52) looks to pass the ball against FIU. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Johnson leads comeback charge as men’s basketball tops FIU
February 18
21:55 2016

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

North Texas men’s basketball got a much needed victory on Thursday night, erasing an 11-point deficit with under eight minutes to play to defeat Florida International University 77-75. There were 17 lead changes in the game, the most in any contest for the Mean Green (10-16, 5-8) this season.

Junior guard Deckie Johnson led the comeback charge, scoring 19 points in the final eight minutes to catapult North Texas to the win. Johnson ended the game with 32 points, a new career high, and tied the school record for most three pointers in a game with eight.

Seemingly making every big play down the stretch, Johnson took a charge to get the ball back for North Texas with a chance to tie or win the game with less than 40 seconds left. After taking the inbounds pass, Johnson called for the ball and waived off sophomore forward Jeremy Combs coming to set a screen.

Johnson then took a few dribbles, sized up his defender, took a step back and launched a three from well behind the line. It found nothing but twine and put North Texas up 76-75, a lead it would not relinquish.

Junior guard Deckie Johnson celebrates after a go ahead three at the end of the game. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Deckie Johnson celebrates after a go ahead three at the end of the game. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

While those final few minutes of the game went in the Mean Green’s favor, the entire game did not go as according to plan.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first half, as FIU (12-15, 6-8) knocked down 55 percent of their shots in comparison to 42 percent for the Mean Green. North Texas also managed to get hot from beyond the arc and shot the three ball better than anything else, converting 43 percent of its first half attempts. As a result, the Panthers were forced to switch from an early zone defense to a man-to-man, closing out on Mean Green shooters and reducing air space.

Ironically, North Texas was forced to do the same thing, as head coach Tony Benford started his team in a matchup zone defense before switching to a man-to-man to prevent open outside shots. With neither side able to cease control in the first 20 minutes, FIU took a slim 37-35 lead into halftime.

Each team continued to duke it out with one another in the first few minutes of the second half, but neither could find separation. Combs did his best to energize the team and crowd, especially after an electrifying one-handed dunk that pulled the Mean Green ahead 47-46.

From there, however, the issues scoring the ball began. North Texas stalled on offense, unable to find a rhythm or a groove. With FIU ahead by double digits, the Mean Green looked as though it was headed to its third straight loss.

But just when all hope seemed vanished, Johnson took over the game in crunch time once again, knocking down five threes in the last eight minutes to send North Texas home with the come-from-behind win.

Next up: North Texas hosts Florida Atlantic University on Saturday, Feb. 20. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Featured Image: Junior point guard J-Mychal Reese (52) looks to pass the ball against FIU. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

About Author

Reporter

Reporter

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: ‘Welcome to Chechnya’ is a devastating but insightful look into LGBTQ persecution in Russia📝 by… https://t.co/8otQBL43Ui
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: Reopening, Safety town hall covers changes made to campus life for fall semester📝 by @IleanaGarnandhttps://t.co/dZRzOWnx8U
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Social movements aren’t online trends📝 by @IleanaGarnand 🖼 by @GishhyOrangehttps://t.co/qYPvGOn2V3
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: HBO’s ‘Perry Mason’ reboot is more ‘True Detective’ than legal thriller📝 by @tarpwillhttps://t.co/QptGpTtiy2
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
RT @BWISE_Mentoring: Thank you @ntdaily for featuring BWISE and our current scholarship program!!
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram