North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball seeks second straight victory

Men’s basketball seeks second straight victory

February 20
22:58 2013

Will Darnell / Intern

The Mean Green men’s basketball team needs a victory tonight against the Florida Atlantic University Owls to bolster its conference standing before the fast-approaching Sun Belt Conference tournament.

UNT (10-18, 5-12) is coming off a 63-61 win over Troy University that included a scorching shooting display from sophomore guard Jordan Williams, whose seven three-pointers tied him for the second most in school history.

Williams has led the team in scoring for six of its last eight games, notching over 20 points five times during the span.

Head coach Tony Benford said that Williams has been playing “lights out” basketball the last month and has really matured on and off the court this season.

“[He is] as good as any player I’ve been around,” Benford said. “I think he has the chance to be a special player.”

In this season’s previous matchup with FAU (12-16, 7-10), the Mean Green stormed out to a 12-point lead to begin the game and eventually won a back-and-forth battle in overtime thanks in part to five points in the extra period by freshman guard P.J. Hardwick.

Benford said that disrupting FAU’s guards’ shots will be a key to the game.

“They have the leading scorer in the league and one of the leading scorers in the country,” Benford said. “So we have to do a good job of contesting shots.”

The Owls senior guard Greg Gantt averages 21.4 points per game, ranking seventh in the nation. UNT held him to 6 of 17 shooting in the previous matchup.

With three games left before the conference tournament, the team said continued dedication and hard work in practice are key to a strong finish to the season.

“I think that’s a big focus, to win these three games, get a ton of momentum and get ready for the conference championship,” Hardwick said.

Tonight at 7 p.m. in the Super Pit, the Mean Green hopes to build on the momentum gained in the win over Troy.

“The team that’s playing the best going into the conference tournament has a chance to make a run, and we want to be that team,” Benford said.

UNT would even its home record to 7-7 with a victory.

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