Men’s basketball overcomes rough offensive night for second win

Men’s basketball overcomes rough offensive night for second win

November 17
22:54 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

The Mean Green men’s basketball team overcame multiple turnovers to beat Nicholls State University 71-57 on Monday night at the Super Pit.

“I thought we did a real good job on the defensive end,” head coach Tony Benford said. “They are a really good three-point shooting team and we did a great job with our zone. We did a good job of carrying out the game plan.”

The game didn’t start out well for either team as the opening minutes were dominated by turnovers. Both teams were tied at 2-2 four minutes into the game and the Mean Green (2-0) committed five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.

“I wasn’t pleased on the offensive end and that is my fault. We need to spend more time on offense at practice,” Benford said. “I thought we were careless with the basketball and we didn’t really get into a flow and attack like we are used too.”

Midway through the first-half, Nicholls State (0-1) managed to get into a small groove and took a 12-9 lead. The game started to bog down as both teams started to commit multiple fouls and scoring was kept at a minimum. Eventually, the Mean Green took a 31-21 lead into halftime.

The second half saw the Mean Green continue more the problems from the first half, including turnovers and missed shots. Nicholls State came out firing on a 6-2 run before senior guard Jordan Williams tipped in a layup to help get North Texas back up by eight.

By the 12 minute mark, both teams started to get hot shooting the ball, with Nicholls State hitting two three-pointer to trim the lead. The Mean Green kept answering back and expanded the lead to 12 with a layup by freshman forward Jeremy Combs.

With 9:30 left in the game, Nicholls State went on a 6-1 run after hitting back-to-back three pointers to pull back within seven.

Both teams would keep trading baskets, but with 1:45 left in the game, senior guard T.J. Taylor hit a three to put the Mean Green up 66-54. That would be too big of a lead for Nicholls State to overcome and North Texas would hold on for the win.

“The shots just weren’t falling well and we took a couple of bad ones off the first pass,” Taylor said.

Williams isn’t worried about the offense and said the problems will take care of itself.

“We got time, it is just the first two games,” Williams said. “We still got players coming in-and-out, so we are just trying to get a feel of each other.”

Williams was the leading scorer for the Mean Green with 21 points and 10 total rebounds. 11 of his 21 came from the free-throw line. Taylor added 14 points and seven rebounds. The team shot 34 percent for the game and went 1-11 from behind the arc. The team also had 21 turnovers on the night. The team was without junior forward Maurice Aniefiok, who did not play due to a violation of team rules.

The Mean Green continues its home stand with a game on Wednesday night agaimst Delaware State University. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at the Super Pit.

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