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Men’s basketball falls to Samford for second straight loss

Men’s basketball falls to Samford for second straight loss

North Texas junior guard J­Mychal Reese (52) battles through defenders to attempt a layup against the Samford Bulldogs. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Men’s basketball falls to Samford for second straight loss
November 24
22:26 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

Despite making a 17-2 run in the second half, North Texas fell to Samford University at home on Tuesday 74-72.

The Mean Green (2-2) offense, which was stellar the first two games of the season averaging 111 points per game, sputtered in the first half. Head coach Tony Benford’s squad scored 30 points and committed 11 turnovers in the first half of action.

In a back and forth affair for most of the game, North Texas was bogged down by its inability to break Samford’s (4-1) full court press and get open looks in the halfcourt. Shooting a dismal 17 percent from beyond the arc, North Texas was frequently forced into the waning seconds of the shot clock, resulting in rushed shots.

No player scored more than five points in the first 20 minutes of play, with sophomore forward Jeremy Combs, junior guard J-Mychal Reese and junior guard Deckie Johnson all chipping in five points.

North Texas freshman guard Allante Holston (5) dunks the ball against the Samford Bulldogs. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

North Texas freshman guard Allante Holston (5) dunks the ball against the Samford Bulldogs. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Coming out of the intermission, it looked as though the Mean Green would continue to struggle on offense, with the Bulldogs pushing its lead to as much as nine points at 46-37. But Combs woke the team up with a sequence of positive plays on defense, including a blocked layup which led to an easy score at the other end. Combs also hit six consecutive free throws to keep the team in it before the offense came to life. He ended the night with 18 points on 3-7 shooting, including going 12 of 16 from the free throw line.

North Texas then made a late 17-2 run, taking its first lead of the second half when junior guard Carrington Ward buried a three from the top of the key. But Samford refused to go down easily, fighting back into the game despite going down seven points at 57-50.

The Bulldogs clawed their way back in due in large part to 21 points from senior guard Darius Jones-Gibson. The teams would see-saw back and forth until Samford gained control late.

The Bulldogs made five of their last seven shots which was ultimately too much for the Mean Green to handle. Combs had a chance to tie the game with less than two minutes to play but went one of two at the foul line. North Texas never got any closer than that.

Next Up: The Mean Green hosts Troy University tomorrow at the Super Pit in the final game of the Mean Green Challenge. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.

Featured Image: North Texas junior guard J­-Mychal Reese (52) battles through defenders to attempt a layup against the Samford Bulldogs. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer 

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