North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball drops hard-fought road game against Oklahoma

Men’s basketball drops hard-fought road game against Oklahoma

December 01
00:10 2017

Oklahoma’s freshman point guard Trae Young’s list of awards is lengthy.

A five-star recruit, 23rd in the country overall, fourth at his position and No. 1 in the state of Oklahoma for his class highlight his resume. And those accolades were on full display Thursday night as he torched a North Texas team who played one of its best games of the season.

Despite being tied at halftime at 38, the Mean Green fell to the Young-led Sooners 82-72 in Norman, Oklahoma.

“We took some steps in the right direction defensively, especially in the first half,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “Unfortunately, Trae Young’s baskets were from about 28 feet out and that really put us in a predicament. Down the stretch we just got fatigued and had a hard time keeping Trae in front and he made us pay.”

Young dropped 32 points and 10 assists on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 from three to lead the Sooners (5-1).

But the Mean Green (4-4) were only down one point with eight minutes left in the game and were able to stay close until a late Oklahoma run gave them breathing room.

“I think we competed,” sophomore guard A.J. Lawson said. “We wanted to get back on defense because they’re a great transition team so we wanted to sit down, guard the ball and not let them get second chance points the execute on the offensive end.”

Lawson finished the night with 14 points, six rebounds and six assists with only one turnover. Sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart led the team in scoring with 15 points, all of which came from downtown as he shot 5-of-10 from three.

North Texas won the rebounding battle, 29-28 as three players finished with six boards. Also, junior guard Jorden Duffy hit some timely shots to keep the Mean Green close throughout the game.

“One, we outrebounded a Big12 team,” McCasland said. “We were positive on the assist to turnover line and last but not least we finally got to see a little bit of what Jorden Duffy is capable of. Those are three things that we did a good job [in].”

The Mean Green as a whole were 13-of-29 from three and showed their improvement in ball movement as they got good looks throughout the game.

North Texas was a 29-point underdog to the Sooners and gave them a scare on their home court.

But for McCasland and his team, they will never be satisfied with a loss.

“There’s no way that we walk away from this feeling this was the way it was supposed to end,” McCasland said. “Our guys believed we were supposed to win it. But I do like the belief we’re getting out of our guys and I can see us taking steps in the right direction.”

Next up: North Texas takes on the University of Texas at Arlington, Saturday at 7 p.m. on the road.

Featured image: Mean Green Men’s Basketball head coach, Grant McCasland, encourages his team during a game against Eureka College. Madison Gore

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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