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Men’s basketball can’t contain Troy in second half, lose third straight

Men’s basketball can’t contain Troy in second half, lose third straight

North Texas junior guard J-Mychal Reese (52) dribbles toward the paint before passing against Troy. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

Men’s basketball can’t contain Troy in second half, lose third straight
November 25
18:28 2015

Scott Sidway | Sports Editor

@ScottyWK

Despite leading at halftime, the Mean Green men’s basketball team couldn’t stave off Troy University in the second half, losing 86-74 Wednesday at the Super Pit. The loss is North Texas’ third straight, all falling during the Mean Green Challenge.

The Mean Green (2-3, 0-0) led 33-31 at halftime, led by freshman guard Allante Holston. The Maryland native notched nine points and seven rebounds in the first half, good for a season-high, and eventually finished the night with 17 points and seven rebounds. North Texas was able to establish the lead without posing a threat from beyond the three point arc, going 1-6 in the half and continuing a troubling trend during the span of the Mean Green Challenge.

North Texas sophomore forward Jeremy Combs (1) drives the lane for a layup against Troy. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

North Texas sophomore forward Jeremy Combs (1) drives the lane for a layup against Troy. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

North Texas was able to take the lead into halftime despite enduring a 15-2 Trojan run early in the first half, which was fueled by a staunch Troy (3-3, 0-0) defense which the Mean Green struggled to penetrate. But North Texas prevailed at the end of 20 minutes by finding its stroke from the free throw line, going an improved 12-13. The first half ended up featuring six lead changes and two ties.

But the tide turned after the break. North Texas struggled offensively from the onset, aside from an early three-point play by freshman forward Kahlil Fuller. The offense was stagnant, which allowed Troy to erase its deficit and storm out to a 40-35 lead. Junior guard Deckie Johnson tried to thwart the Trojan run by sinking a deep three-pointer, but Troy sophomore guard Wesley Person answered with a three of his own five seconds later, forcing a Mean Green timeout at the 15:00 mark.

The timeout proved effective, with North Texas responding with a three out of the break to cut the lead to two. But the Trojans kept their hot shooting going through the second half, leading 58-48 with 10 minutes to go.

The lead would only expand as time ticked down, as Person began to find his stroke. After finishing with a meager three first half points, Troy’s leading scorer scored 21 in the second half, finishing with 24 points on 64 percent shooting.

Holston led the Mean Green in scoring, but did not add a single rebound in the second half to record a double-double. Sophomore forward Jeremy Combs, who led the Mean Green in scoring coming into the game with 18.5 points per game, finished with 13 points on 5-8 shooting.

With the Mean Green Challenge in the books, North Texas will hit the road to take on the University of Northern Iowa Monday, Nov. 30. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

 Featured Image: Junior guard J-Mychal Reese (52) dribbles toward the paint before passing against Troy. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

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