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Men’s basketball steps up defense, wins second game in blowout

Men’s basketball steps up defense, wins second game in blowout

Junior forward Armani Flannigan dunks the ball in the second quarter during tonight's home game against South Eastern Oklahoma at the Super Pit. Photo by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor

Men’s basketball steps up defense, wins second game in blowout
November 05
01:21 2013

John Lugo / Staff Writer

In the second exhibition game of the season on Monday, the Mean Green defeated Southeastern Oklahoma State University 97-65, showing much improved shooting and defense from Friday’s season opener.

The team defense consisted of swarming the Savage Storm in the paint and close man-to-man defense around the three-point line. As a result, SOSU committed 27 turnovers, 17 of them counting as steals by the Mean Green. Overall, head coach Tony Benford was more happy with the performance than Friday’s narrow 78-70 victory against Oklahoma City University.

“We were talking about our team identity for this year and we want it to start on the defensive end,” Benford said. “We feel like we can be a very good offensive team, but if you don’t defend and get stops, it’s going to be tough to get the ball and run like we want to run.”

Senior guard Vertrail Vaughns led the way with 23 points, including 16 scored in the first half. Junior guard Jordan Williams had 16 points and junior forward Keith Coleman added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Williams said the team used its performance on Friday to motivate them to play better.

“I feel like everybody was more focused in practice,” Williams said. “There was just a better vibe today than the last game. We had to redeem ourselves on what we did last time.”

After shooting 38.6 percent on field goals against Oklahoma City on Friday, the team bumped that percentage up to 55.2 percent. UNT found plenty of opportunities to score in transition, and that opened up its opportunities for outside shooting as well.

“In practice, the coaches always tell us to make the extra pass, and that’s what we did tonight,” Vaughns said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that [score 23] without my teammates. They were making that extra pass and communicating better.”

The Mean Green will return to the Super Pit  when the team faces Northwood University at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Box score

Feature photo: Junior forward Armani Flannigan dunks the ball in the second quarter during tonight’s home game against South Eastern Oklahoma at the Super Pit. Photo by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor   .

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