North Texas Daily

Mean Green men’s basketball team cools down visiting Blazers

Mean Green men’s basketball team cools down visiting Blazers

Mean Green men’s basketball team cools down visiting Blazers
January 24
14:15 2014

Chris Scarborough // Intern Writer

Defense and running the floor led the Mean Green men’s basketball team to its 76-65 win against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers Thursday night at the Super Pit.

The transition aspect played a big role in this game, as the Mean Green continued to attack on offense immediately after a defensive stop on the other end. Head coach Tony Benford said these types of games are what his team is made for.

“Everybody is surprised when we run on makes and misses,” Benford said. “This league is afraid of our transition game. When we can get out and get some easy [shots]… that’s going to be the difference in the game.”

After trading baskets and starting off tied at 10, UNT gained a 24-12 lead led by senior guard Alzee Williams’ nine points early on. However, the Blazers came back with a 14-3 run of its own to pull within one point at the 8:33 mark in the first half.

With a 44-38 lead at the half, the Mean Green built the lead in the second half with its defense. UNT had six blocks in the half and held UAB to only 7-of-38 shooting –18.4 percent – from the field.

Three-point shots from Williams and junior guard T.J. Taylor aided a 9-2 run late in the second half to give the Mean Green a 70-60 lead going into the last five minutes, and the team kept its lead safe from there.

“It felt like, from the roar of the student section, that the other team got rattled off of that.” Taylor said of his big three pointer.

Williams led UNT in scoring with 18 points, but his mindset wasn’t only about his own points.

“I just let the game come to me,” Williams said. “When I saw a chance to attack, I would be attacking the basket and also trying to create for others.”

The Mean Green will play the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Super Pit. Middle Tennessee is another former Sun Belt Conference team that made the switch to Conference USA this year.

Quick Notes:

– Senior guard Brandon Walton was out with a concussion for the game after being hit in the head in practice. Coach Benford hopes for him to be back on Saturday.

– Junior forward Jordan Williams scored 16 points tonight and is now ranked 30th on UNT’s all-time scoring rankings at 889 career points.

Feature photo: Junior guard Chris Jones leaps to make a layup. Jones made one shot and one free throw against the University of Alabama during Thursday night’s win at the Super Pit. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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