North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball team survives season opening scare, win 72-67

Men’s basketball team survives season opening scare, win 72-67

Men’s basketball team survives season opening scare, win 72-67
November 08
23:18 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

Behind its rebounding effort and scoring production from the bench, the UNT men’s basketball team won its season opener, defeating Northwood University 72-67 on Friday.

But head coach Tony Benford was not happy with the narrow win against a team in the NAIA classification – several levels below UNT’s Division-I status.

“We just didn’t do the best job of executing,” head coach Tony Benford said. “It was a game that we would probably have lost last year.”

Although UNT (1-0) came away with the win, the Knights (0-2) did not go quietly and challenged UNT for most of the game.

Up by two points at halftime, the Mean Green was never able to pull away in the second half. The biggest lead of the game for UNT was 10 points with 14:14 left in the first half.

After the early lead, Northwood – located in Cedar Hill, Texas – never fell behind by more than 10 points for the rest of the game.

“We knew they were going to come out and play hard,” senior guard Alzee Williams said. “We just had to dig down and do the same.”

UNT had a rough night shooting from the free-throw line, making only 19 of its 31 attempts. The team also finished shooting 36.2 percent from the field.

Due to its size advantage, the Mean Green dominated on the boards, out rebounding the Knights 57-40. Northwood has only one player over 6 feet 6 inches on its roster while UNT has four.

On offense, UNT was led by a trio of players. Senior guard Brandan Walton and junior guard Chris Jones each finished the game with 13 points, but they were overshadowed by guard Jordan Williams, who scored the final five points for the Mean Green. The 6-foot-6-inch junior finished with 22 points and led the team with 10 rebounds.

“We certainly executed better than we did last game, but some shots just didn’t fall in for us,” Jones said. “If we get those shots again, we will make them.”

Next for the Mean Green is the opening round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The team will face the University of Oklahoma in its first match. Tip off is at 7 p.m. in Norman, Okla.

Feature photo: Senior guard Brandan Walton leaps over a Northwood opponent while shooting the ball into the basket during tonight’s home game in the Super Pit. Photo by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor 

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