North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball defeats Louisiana Tech to clinch regular season title

Men’s basketball defeats Louisiana Tech to clinch regular season title

Men’s basketball defeats Louisiana Tech to clinch regular season title
February 27
00:22 2022

Men’s basketball clinched the Conference USA regular season championship and the no. 1 seed in the C-USA tournament with a 56-49 win over the Louisiana Tech University Saturday afternoon.

The Mean Green’s win moved the team to 15-1 in conference play and was the team’s 14th win in a row. The victory also increased their home record to 12-2.

Sophomore forward Abou Ousmane led the way for the Mean Green, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds on the night. Ousmane additionally blocked a Bulldogs layup with 31 seconds left in the game to keep North Texas ahead.

Louisiana Tech went on a 9-0 run to tie the game, but North Texas countered the comeback with its own run, scoring seven consecutive points.

“Even though they were hitting shots and getting back into the game, we just wanted to play lockdown defense,” senior forward Thomas Bell said. “When it gets tough, we just do what we do to pull out a win.”

Coming into the game, North Texas held a free throw percentage of 66.4 percent. Against the Bulldogs, the Mean Green went 19-23 from the line, good for 82.6 percent.

Junior guard Tylor Perry, the Mean Green’s leading scorer this season, was 0-9 from the field until he hit a fadeaway 3-pointer with 52.4 seconds left in the game, giving North Texas a 54-49 lead.

“The guys have a ton of confidence in him,” head coach Grant McCasland. “They felt like he was going to eventually come through.”

Both teams struggled with shooting on the afternoon, as North Texas shot 36.4 percent from the field and Louisiana Tech finished with 38.6 percent shooting.

The Mean Green defense forced 14 turnovers, tallying nine steals and four blocks in the contest. Louisiana Tech came into the game averaging 11.2 turnovers per game.

In the second half, North Texas increased its shooting numbers. The team raised its 16.7 percent 3-point shooting they had in the first half to 42.9 percent from deep in the second.

The game drew a crowd of 8,522 people, the fourth largest in school history and highest attendance since 1980. The win clinches an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament in March if the team does not win the C-USA tournament.

“It was a humbling moment to come out to the Super Pit being full,” McCasland said. “Winning championships are a part of the journey and we are thankful for the people that came out.”

The Mean Green have two more games remaining in the regular season before defending the C-USA title in Frisco, Texas on March 9.

Featured Image: Sophomore guard Rubin Jones dribbles the ball towards a Charlotte defender on Jan. 20, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Tyler Luker

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