North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball fails to hold on at Western Kentucky

Men’s basketball fails to hold on at Western Kentucky

February 05
23:17 2015

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green men’s basketball team fell to Western Kentucky University 65-59 on the road on Thursday evening. The loss drops North Texas (9-12, 3-6) to a tie with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for ninth place in the Conference USA standings.

Unlike two weeks ago against Louisiana Tech University, the Mean Green could not take advantage of the opportunity to take down the No.1 team in C-USA, despite holding a five-point lead late in the game.

“We have to put 40 minutes together, and tonight we didn’t do that,” head coach Tony Benford said. “ We let a really good opportunity get away from us tonight.”

The Mean Green struggled to find offense in the first half, scoring only 25 points on 29 percent shooting from the field. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers shot 54 percent in the first half but only managed to build a 34-25 lead due to ten turnovers forced by North Texas.

Senior forward Armani Flannigan was a bright spot for the offense in the opening half, scoring 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field. Even though he would only score two more points in the game and finish with five rebounds, his scoring output was a career best.

“I was just taking what the defense was giving me. I wasn’t trying to be a hero or anything,” Flannigan said. “I was just trying to make the most of my opportunities.”

The North Texas defense stepped up in the second half, containing WKU to a much lower shooting percentage. The offense also stepped up thanks to senior guard Jordan Williams’ nine second half points, and the Mean Green took a 59-54 lead with under five minutes remaining in the game.

However, the Hilltoppers came back to life and closed the game flawlessly. WKU went on an 11-0 run in the final four minutes of the game to retake and finish with the lead. Williams said the difference in the game was the Mean Green’s defense.

“It was more defense than offense,” Williams said. “ We switched to man in the second half and got a lot of stops. At the end, we let two veteran shooters get away from us, and they were knocking them down.”

North Texas also struggled to stop the Hilltoppers’ up-tempo offense. WKU outscored the Mean Green 16-6 in transition.

Next on the Mean Green’s road trip is a showdown with Marshall University Saturday at 6:00 p.m.

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