North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball knocked out of C-USA tournament in round one

Men’s basketball knocked out of C-USA tournament in round one

March 11
23:33 2015

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

In its biggest game of the season, the Mean Green men’s basketball team suffered its largest loss of the year, falling to Rice University 82-54 in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament. The loss marks the end of North Texas’ season.

“This was the worst game we’ve played all year, but Rice had a lot to do with that,” head coach Tony Benford said.

The Mean Green (14-17, 8-11) trailed the Owls (12-19, 9-10) for the entire game and struggled on both ends of the court. Rice shot 47 percent from the field and lit it up from beyond the arc, making 11 of 28 three point attempts for a 39 percent clip.

Meanwhile, the Mean Green could not buy a basket, shooting 29 percent from the floor and 19 percent from downtown.

“They just beat us, plain and simple,” senior forward Colin Voss said. “We just lost the game, they played a better overall game than us. They shot the ball very well, we didn’t get back in transition too good and just give credit to them.”

In their last games with North Texas, the seniors struggled the most. Senior guard Jordan Williams scored only eight points and also injured his knee early in the second half after bumping into a Rice player, though he eventually returned. Voss scored six points and saw his streak of 25 straight free throws come to an end.

“It was very tough,” Williams said. “We came in kind of flat. We could never catch back up with them. They made a lot of shots in the first half, and we didn’t get a lot of stops.”

The Mean Green’s youth showed up, however, with freshman forward Jeremy Combs pouring in 16 points and 15 rebounds, his third double-double of the year. Sophomore guard DeAndre Harris added 12 points as well.

“I think we have some really good young players in our program,” Benford said. “You start with Jeremy Combs, who should have been freshman of the year in my opinion. I’m really disappointed he didn’t get that.”

On the other end, Rice sophomore Marcus Jackson could not be stopped, scoring 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting, including 4 of 6 from three point range. Three other Rice players ended the night in double figures.

The loss breaks a three-game winning streak over the Owls for the Mean Green, dating back to last March. The loss also makes North Texas end its season on a four game losing streak.

“We just never really, here down the stretch losing four straight, we never really regained our confidence,” Benford said.

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