North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball beats Southern Miss, clinches top two conference seed

Men’s basketball beats Southern Miss, clinches top two conference seed

Men’s basketball beats Southern Miss, clinches top two conference seed
February 25
16:34 2022

Men’s basketball won versus the University of Southern Mississippi, cruising to an 85-61 win Thursday night.

The victory pushed North Texas to 14-1 in conference play with just three games left in the regular season. The Mean Green are now guaranteed a top two seed in the Conference USA Tournament.

Sophomore forward Abou Ousmane made an impact early, scoring 15 points in the first half on the way to a 21 point performance. Ousmane also went 7-10 from the free throw line, which is up from his 54.7 percent average from the charity stripe.

“He could have had more just by the way he was competing,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “It just shows that he is getting more efficient.”

The Mean Green built held a 39-19 lead at halftime. The team shot an even 60 percent from the field and held Southern Miss to 30 percent shooting. The game was the fifth this season that North Texas has given up less than 20 points in the first half.

“That’s just what we do,” junior guard Tylor Perry said. “We try to take away what the other team does best.”

The North Texas offense slowed in the second half, but the smallest deficit Southern Miss faced was 14 points. The Mean Green finished with 46 points in the second half, increasing their total to 85 on the night, which is the highest North Texas has scored all season.

“Southern Miss tried to speed us up a little bit,” Perry said. “We just continued to move the ball and continued to execute.”

The win marked McCasland’s 100th as the head coach for North Texas. He credited former players with helping the turnaround.

“One hundred wins is special because of the people over the last five years who have been part of this program,” McCasland said. “The people who believed and put their hearts into this. They are what has made this program what it is and what makes 100 wins special.”

North Texas will face off next against the Louisiana Tech University on Saturday afternoon. The Mean Green defeated the Bulldogs 63-62 in their first matchup on Jan. 29, winning on a Perry 3-pointer. A North Texas win would clinch the number one seed in the C-USA tournament as well as the regular season championship.

“The way the last game finished, they will have an edge,” McCasland said. “LA Tech will be coming here with a lot to prove.”

Featured Image: Tylor Perry brings the ball down the court on Feb. 7, 2022. Photo by Kristian Freeman

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Tyler Luker

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