North Texas Daily

Mean Green suffer sixth straight loss on Senior night

Mean Green suffer sixth straight loss on Senior night

Mean Green suffer sixth straight loss on Senior night
March 05
17:22 2019

The North Texas men’s basketball team (20-10, 8-9 Conference USA) lost their sixth consecutive game to Marshall (16-13, 9-7 C-USA) on senior night 85-82. This loss puts the Mean Green below .500 in conference play for the year and will be their fourth home loss on the season. Junior guard Ryan Woolridge did not play in this game due to a lingering knee injury. The seniors this year were guards Michael Miller and Jordan Duffy and forward Tope Arikawe.

“I’m thankful for the crowd that came out today, I thought we had a great crowd on senior night,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “I’m really disappointed in the loss, but for the seniors, what a great group of men that have helped elevate our program in a short time.”

The Mean Green finished the first half with a 13-point lead on Marshall. North Texas was accurate from beyond the arc going into halftime with a three-point percentage of 50 percent. Marshall was outrebounded at the end of the first half  21-19 and had gained six turnovers.

The game unraveled for North Texas when they gave up their halftime lead and allowed Marshall to stay even until the Thundering Herd came out on top for the win. North Texas has held opponents to an average 31 percent field goal percentage from beyond the arc this season, ranked No. 1 in C-USA. Marshall shot 46 percent from downtown on 13-for-28 shooting. This is the first time an opposing team has made 13 threes against North Texas at home this season. The last team to make 13 threes against North Texas was at Florida International on Feb. 16, 2019.

Senior guard Michael Miller played 30 minutes and was second on the team in rebounds (7) and led both teams in assists (6). Miller scored 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting on the night, also leading the team in made baskets (8). According to McCasland, Miller played through a foot injury in the loss against Marshall.

“We fought hard and we should have won, but we got outplayed down the last stretch of the game,” Miller said. “They came out with more energy, they were more determined to get back in the game then we were to shut them out of the game completely.”

Senior guard Jordan Duffy ended the night with 21 points on 7-for-16 shooting and played the second most minutes for North Texas (32). He led the team with the most field goal attempts for the Mean Green (16). Duffy also scored five rebounds, two assists and a steal during his final home game with North Texas.

“It’s back to the drawing boards and watching film and just keep being better,” Duffy said.

Redshirt freshman guard Umoja Gibson led the Mean Green in minutes played (35) and points scored (21). He ended the game shooting 6-for-15 with five rebounds, two steals and a turnover. Gibson also led the team in made three’s (5) and attempts (13).

“[Gibson] definitely got us going in the game and the balance for him is finding that key balance between being a point guard and being a scoring guard,” McCasland said. “When he’s shooting it we’re way better, but if we can get the ball moved and then get him a touch, we’re significantly better.”

UP NEXT: The Mean Green will face Florida International (18-11, 9-7 C-USA) on March 9 in Miami at 6 p.m.

McCasland was asked if North Texas still had the potential to find their rhythm with one game left in the regular season.

“Don’t ask me that, you know I do, I absolutely believe in this team and I’ll believe in them just like I did last year till the last buzzer goes off,” McCasland said. “I believe this team can go to Frisco and win the tournament, I genuinely do.”

Featured Image: Mean Green senior guard Jordan Duffy drives into the paint after pick set by redshirt sophomore forward Jahmiah Simmons at the game against Florida Atlantic at the Super Pit on Feb. 28, 2019. Image by: Trevon McWilliams.

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Matthew Suarez

Matthew Suarez

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