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Men’s basketball falls to Louisiana Tech in Conference USA tournament

Men’s basketball falls to Louisiana Tech in Conference USA tournament

Men’s basketball falls to Louisiana Tech in Conference USA tournament
March 14
16:16 2022

Men’s basketball was eliminated in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament after a 42-36 loss to Louisiana Tech University Friday afternoon.

North Texas’ 36 points were the lowest it had scored in a game this season as the team shot 13-of-54 from the field and 4-for-24 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs also scored their lowest amount of points in a game this season. 

“We struggled to hit shots and that’s going to happen,” junior guard Tylor Perry said. “Louisiana Tech made a couple, but I feel like we still played hard on the defensive end.”

Senior forward Thomas Bell led the Mean Green in scoring with 10 points on eight shots. Perry finished the game with nine points on 3-of-14 shooting, making three 3-pointers on 11 attempts.

The game opened up with North Texas taking a 10-2 lead before the Bulldogs went on a 15-0 run. In the final 8:54 of the first half, the Mean Green scored three points as the Bulldogs extended their lead to 21-13 at the half.

“Louisiana Tech played great defense,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “They’re really physical. […] We’ve been playing well toward the paint but we just couldn’t get anything in the first half. They had us so clogged up.”

Over the course of the second half, North Texas drew within three points, but could not overtake the Bulldogs. Similar to the second half of the game against Rice University Thursday night, senior guard Mardrez McBride led the second-half scoring for North Texas with nine points on seven shots.

In the waning moments of the game, Perry had a chance to hit a 3-pointer to draw the Mean Green within two points but was blocked by Louisiana Tech guard Cobe Williams on the attempt. Williams was a part of the C-USA All-Defensive team and Perry said the recognition for Williams was well-deserved.

With the regular season title still under the Mean Green’s belt, the team qualifies for the National Invitation Tournament. Louisiana Tech lost to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Saturday afternoon in the Conference USA Championship game.

“I’m disappointed for our guys, but I know we’re not done,” McCasland said. “The worst part of this day would have been walking in that locker room and feeling like the season is over. Either way, we still have an opportunity to play in a postseason tournament.”

Featured Image: Tylor Perry sets up a play on Feb. 7, 2022. Photo by Kristian Freeman

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Tyler Luker

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