North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball defeats Louisiana Tech for seventh straight win

Men’s basketball defeats Louisiana Tech for seventh straight win

Men’s basketball defeats Louisiana Tech for seventh straight win
February 17
14:59 2023

Men’s basketball extended its win streak to seven as it defeated Louisiana Tech University 72-62 on the road. 

The teams’ last eight of nine meetings were decided by two possessions or less. Four of those times, the winning team won on a game-winning shot — one of which was made by senior guard Kai Huntsberry earlier this season. 

North Texas (22-5, 10-2 Conference USA) entered the contest ranked No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense, holding its opponents to an average of 55.6 points. Louisiana Tech (13-13, 6-9) was without its leading scorer, junior guard Cobe Williams, who averaged 18.8 points per game. Following the contest, it was announced Williams left the team because of “personal issues.”

“I obviously give [Lousiana Tech] a lot of credit because they were in one of those fight modes tonight,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “You lose one of your best players for whatever reason, and you can tell they played inspired.”

A slow start consisting of turnovers and missed shots on both sides made the score 5-1 in favor of the Mean Green four minutes into the contest. The Bulldogs found their rhythm offensively as they tied it up at 14 about midway through the first half.

The teams traded the lead for the next five minutes until North Texas came away with a four-point lead after a dunk from junior forward Abou Ousmane. Senior guard Tylor Perry then hit back-to-back threes to surpass his scoring total from the 2021-22 season and increase the Mean Green lead. Perry scored 420 total points last season and has 427 this season. 

North Texas held a 33-29 lead at the half. 

“The one thing [Lousiana Tech] does well is, no matter what the score is, they rebound, they get loose balls and they try to turn you over,” McCasland said. “They just play with a lot of energy.” 

Lousiana Tech opened the second half with a 3-pointer to trail by one. More 3-pointers from the Bulldogs continued to keep the game close as it was tied up four times in the second half. Two consecutive scores from Ousmane allowed the Mean Green to take a four-point lead.

North Texas went on an 8-0 run that gave it an eight-point lead with nine minutes left. The Bulldogs made it a one-possession game with five minutes left, but Ousmane and Perry led the way for the Mean Green to rally back and take home the win.

“There was good composure by our guys,” McCasland said. “When it kind of got loose and the game felt like maybe they could make a run, we found a way to get a stop, get a rebound, make an and-one, and our composure was just where it needed to be.” 

Ousmane was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points and 10 rebounds. It was his fifth double-double of the year. 

“Abou made some huge baskets,” McCasland said. “He’s anchoring us in the middle and it’s that time of year where you have to be at your best, and we definitely are seeing that direction.” 

With Florida Atlantic University losing its game against Middle Tennessee State University Thursday, North Texas now sits only one game behind the Owls in the C-USA standings. The Mean Green will face the University of Texas-El Paso Saturday.

Featured Image Sophomore guard Aaron Scott dunks the ball against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Feb. 11, 2023. Photo by Matt Iaia

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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