North Texas Daily

Mean Green men’s basketball secures second win in C-USA

Mean Green men’s basketball secures second win in C-USA

Mean Green men’s basketball secures second win in C-USA
January 04
13:14 2019

The North Texas Mean Green (14-1, 2-0 C-USA) won their second conference game of the season against Louisiana Tech (11-4, 1-1 C-USA) to reach their best start to a season since 1952-53.   

North Texas is riding a 12-game winning streak at home dating back to last season.

Senior guard Michael Miller dropped eight of North Texas’ 35 points in the first half.

“Being back home and seeing the huge fan base helped us tonight,” Miller said. “There is nothing like protecting home court.”

The Mean Green jumped out to a 19-point lead over the Bulldogs early in the first half.

Sophomore forward Zachary Simmons led the way with 16 points and 6 rebounds, with senior guard Jorden Duffy and Miller both scoring 13 points each to round out scoring.

“They’re a tough team in our conference,” Simmons said. “We had a bone to pick with them seeing that they ended our season early in the C-USA tournament last year.”

Junior point guard Ryan Woolridge got in some early foul trouble forcing head coach Grant McCasland to sit him a portion of the first half.

After Wooldridge was benched, the Bulldogs were able to cut the lead down to nine with about 30 seconds left in the first half.

“Their size was a bit tough for him tonight,” McCasland said. “He’s carried us all year long and I think he’ll be fine as the season continues.”

Midway through the second half, the Bulldogs went on a run, led by sophomore guard Daquan Bracey’s 22-point performance, and cut the score to 47-46 with the Mean Green up by one point.  

“I thought we were really good defensively in the half court, “ McCasland said. “We turned the ball over a lot and we didn’t do good on the defensive rebounding.”

With 4:00 left in the game Duffey drove for a layup to give the team a 3-point lead.

With the game tied at 58 with a 1:32 left, Woolridge was able to get to the foul line but only make one of two free throws giving the Mean Green a one-point lead.

With 0:22 left in the game, Simmons got the ball in the post and made a move on sophomore forward Oliver Powell giving North Texas a 61-59 lead.

Duffey got a late defensive rebound, got fouled and made two free throws to finish the game with a 63-59 win.

McCasland changed the lineup many different times throughout the game, including the guard rotation with inserting redshirt sophomore Jahmiah Simmons and redshirt junior DJ Draper late in the game.

“We found a way to win tonight,” McCasland. “This a good conference battle early in the season and it was good for us.”

UP NEXT — The Mean Green host Southern Miss at the Super Pit Saturday, Jan. 5.

Featured photo: North Texas senior guard Michael Miller guards Bulldogs freshman forward Anthony Duruji in half court. Mean Green win 63-59 over Bulldogs. Tre’von McWilliams

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Trevon McWilliams

Trevon McWilliams

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