North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball drops second straight game on the road

Men’s basketball drops second straight game on the road

Junior guard J-Mychal Reese does a cross over against Southern Mississippi. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Men’s basketball drops second straight game on the road
February 27
23:29 2016

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

With only two home games separating Mean Green men’s basketball from competing in the Conference USA tournament, North Texas (11-18, 6-10) fell 81-70 on the road to Southern Mississippi University (8-19, 5-11).

Southern Miss came out of the gate with a 9-0 lead to start the game and led 20-10 after the first eight minutes on the way to handing the Mean Green its second straight 11-point road loss.

“They put us in a hole early and we never recovered,” head coach Tony Benford said. “We struggled defensively all night.”

Redshirt junior guard Carrington Ward provided a spark off the bench for the Mean Green with a career-high 13 points along with four boards. The Philadelphia native had mixed feelings on his career night.

“I guess it’s cool to get the most points I’ve gotten ever, but we still lost,” Ward said. “We came close a couple times, but it wasn’t enough.”

Down by double digits in the first half, Ward hit two consecutive three-pointers to make the score 28-27 with three minutes left in the first half. North Texas would only go to the locker room down five points, 35-30. Ward even helped cut the lead to eight in the last minute of the game after back-to-back late threes by freshman guard Ja’Michael Brown.

Ward says tonight’s performance shows the team can score with anyone if they stay focused on offense, but the team’s biggest weakness is on defense.

“We were impatient and didn’t move the ball right most of the game,” Ward said. “We can beat anyone when we play our best, but we need to work on our defense to stay in the game.”

Sophomore forward Jeremy Combs finished the game with a 15-point, 14-rebound performance. Brown also poured on 15 points of his own. Junior guard J-Mychal Reese added 13 points from the backcourt in the losing effort.

“We can play better, but we just need to make more shots we know we can make,” Reese said. “We really need to work on our defense.”

North Texas gave up 43 combined points to Southern Miss seniors Kourtlin Jackson and Michael O’Donnell. The Mean Green’s last four losses have been by double digits.

The team has two more chances to prepare for the C-USA tournament next week at home, the first coming against Old Dominion University on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m.

Featured Image: Junior guard J-Mychal Reese does a cross over. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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