North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball snaps 11-game losing streak with win over Florida Atlantic

Men’s basketball snaps 11-game losing streak with win over Florida Atlantic

February 09
21:29 2017

The wait is finally over.

It had been 52 days since the North Texas Mean Green men’s basketball team won a game, but senior guard J-Mychal Reese scored 21 points and hauled in nine rebounds to lead the Mean Green (7-16, 1-10) past Florida Atlantic University 70-64.

The win over the Owls (8-14, 4-7) snaps an 11-game losing streak, and extends a run of six consecutive wins over FAU.

“I’m really pleased with the win tonight,” head coach Tony Benford said. “I thought our kids played hard and fought hard. I thought our game plan was good. Our guys followed it to a T. We zoned the whole game. They settled for a lot threes.”

The Mean Green were led by Reese’s 21 points while junior forward Shane Temara added 18 points of his own to go with nine rebounds. Freshman guard A.J. Lawson also reached double digits, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.

North Texas shot 42 percent from the field compared to FAU’s 31 percent. The win keeps the Mean Green in contention to make the conference tournament.

“It feels great because we’re in Florida too,” Temara said. “It’s kind of like a vacation. We’re getting some W’s.”

North Texas jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead, which the Owls struggled to recover from. A solid first half from Temara in which he scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds was anchored by freshman guard Ryan Woolridge’s seven rebounds.

Reese dropped in 7 points while the Owls could not get a scorer into double-digits before the halftime buzzer went.

“I think my aggressiveness was a big impact,” Reese said. “The guys feed off that.”

Benford needed a senior to step up and Reese did just that.

“[Reese] showed a lot of senior leadership,” Benford said. “I thought Woolridge did a tremendous job as well. We kept our head down and did our job.”

The Mean Green started the second half with an over three-minute scoring drought that the Owls used to get back into the game. A 10-0 run gave FAU a brief lead before Temara banked in a lay-up to stop the run.

North Texas held onto the lead as the Owls tried to claw back into the game. Free throws would end up deciding it. The Mean Green shot 90 percent from the charity stripe.

After struggling from the line throughout the season, one simple change fixed North Texas’ struggles.

“We just got there and took our time,” Reese said.

Next up: The Mean Green stay in Florida to take on Florida International University at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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