North Texas Daily

Junior guard Johnson’s career shooting day propels men’s basketball to win

Junior guard Johnson’s career shooting day propels men’s basketball to win

The Mean Green’s freshmen guard Allante Holston (#5) goes up against the Devils’ junior guard Isaac Williams during Thursday’s win. The Eagles’ next home game is December 29th against Sam Houston State. Matthew Brown | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Johnson’s career shooting day propels men’s basketball to win
December 17
14:47 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

Behind a career performance from junior guard Deckie Johnson, North Texas notched its second straight victory and its first winning streak since the first two games of the season.

Johnson broke his career high in points with 26 on 9-15 shooting, after setting a previous career high on Monday night against Nicholls State University. He was also two three pointers shy of breaking Joe Ervin’s school record for most threes in a game.

“I thought Deckie came out and really shot the ball well,” head coach Tony Benford said. “He had been in a minor slump. But he’s a shooter, and I tell him he has to just keep shooting the basketball. He’s a big time shooter when he’s on a roll.”

Prior to Monday’s game, Johnson only made one of his last 17 shots from beyond the arc. In the last two games, the junior has knocked down nine three pointers.

Benford said even during Johnson’s shooting slump, his teammates continued to encourage and believe in him.

“He’s a good shooter, and I think he just has to step up and shoot with confidence,” Benford said. “I heard his teammate J-Mychal Reese say a few days ago that he was going to keep giving him the ball. When he’s making hard cuts, he’s tough to account for some times. And our guys are looking for him.”

Sophomore forward Jeremy Combs said Johnson’s outside shooting is beneficial for the whole team and opens up the interior of the paint for him when team’s close out on the three point line.

“It’s good when shooters are hitting their shots,” Combs said. “it’s great. It helps.”

More than anything, Johnson’s breakout performances enabled the Mean Green to take advantage of a softer part of its schedule, where its opponents were a combined 3-19. This was especially vital since North Texas travels to play Creighton University on Monday, Dec 21.

“It’s important that we win games no matter who we’re playing,” Benford said. “We have a tough challenge ahead of us.”

As for today’s victory, Combs said he is not satisfied with just winning the game, saying the team has many facets of the game to improve on.

“It’s always good to get wins, but we have a lot to work on.” Combs said.

Featured Image: The Mean Green’s freshmen guard Allante Holston (5) goes up against the Devils’ junior guard Isaac Williams during Thursday’s win.  Matthew Brown | Senior Staff Photographer

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