North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball extends winning streak to four

Men’s basketball extends winning streak to four

February 21
22:53 2015

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

The Mean Green men’s basketball team extended its wining streak to four games by downing Florida International University 70-56 on Saturday. The win gives the Mean Green a .500 record at 13-13 overall, and 7-7 in Conference USA play.

After playing smothering defense down the stretch against Florida Atlantic University on Thursday, the Mean Green dominated from the outset against FIU, limiting the Panthers to 56 points, down from their season average of 62.2.

“We played solid defense this entire road trip, which is crucial to winning games,” head coach Tony Benford said.

Despite shooting 39 percent from the field themselves, the Mean Green held FIU to 43 percent shooting from the field and 15 percent from beyond the arc. North Texas also won the battle on the boards, outrebounding FIU 39-33.

“Good defense only gets you so far,” Benford said. “You have to end those possessions with rebounds. We did that really well tonight.”

The game was close throughout the first half, but North Texas was able to take a 29-25 lead into halftime. The Mean Green took complete control of the game in the second half thanks to a 13-3 run, and never looked back.

Senior guard T.J. Taylor had a team-high 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Taylor said the play of his teammates is what allowed him knock down his shots.

“We played together as a team,” Taylor said. “Guys like Jordan and Colin, they really helped spread the floor and get me shots tonight.”

Senior forward Colin Voss had eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds while senior guard Jordan Williams was second on the team in scoring with 16. Before this weekend, North Texas had lost its past four road games, but have now won two in a row.

“Being able to win on the road is always big,” Williams said. “It’s a confidence boost.”

North Texas head back to Denton for its final two home games before ending the season on the road. Benford said it’s key to end the year strong and go into the postseason on a high note.

“You have to be able to win at home,” Benford said. “But listen, we’ve already beaten the best teams in our conference. We believe we can play with anybody. We believe we can beat anybody. Once that tournament starts, everyone is 0-0 and anything can happen.”

The Mean Green will play the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Thursday at the Super Pit. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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