North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball unable to overcome dreadful start in road loss to Old Dominion

Men’s basketball unable to overcome dreadful start in road loss to Old Dominion

January 02
18:44 2017


The first shot refused to fall.


The second, third, and fourth shots also wouldn’t drop. With 10 minutes gone in the first half, North Texas still had not mustered a field goal. Finally, with 7:24 to play in the first half, senior guard J-Mychal Reese found the bottom of the net with a tear drop in the lane.

But the offensive woes didn’t stop there.

The Mean Green (6-8, 0-2) were ice cold from the floor all night, at one point shooting 14.3 percent. That, coupled with surrendering 21 offensive rebounds, resulted in a 55-48 victory for Old Dominion University to extend North Texas’ losing streak to three games.

“They made it tough on us to score,” head coach Tony Benford said. “We didn’t score a field goal for it seemed like forever. We were stagnant with our offense.”

Through 11 minutes in the first half, the Mean Green had just three points — all of which came at the free throw line. Sloppy play, poor ball movement and late shot clock situations hindered Benford’s squad for the majority of the contest, specifically in the first half.

Despite this, North Texas’ defense kept them in the game, limiting the Monarchs (9-5, 2-0) to 18-of-64 shooting. At halftime, the Mean Green only trailed 23-17.

“We held them to 28 percent [shooting], which is outstanding on defense,” graduate forward Derail Green said. “I think we did a hell of a job.”

In the second half, North Texas switched its defense, going primarily to a 2-3 or 1-2-1 zone, which forced Old Dominion to settle for perimeter shots rather than drive the paint. The change worked, and with under four minutes to play, Green hit a pull-up three that cut the Monarchs lead to 40-39.

But that would be as close as the Mean Green got.

A transition three at the other end followed by a loose ball that was eventually corralled by Old Dominion led to a ferocious dunk that ultimately put the game out of reach.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win,” Reese said. “We fought hard.”

With the loss, North Texas now returns to Denton for a quick home stand against two of the best teams in Conference USA in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (7-7) and Middle Tennessee State University (11-2), who knocked off Michigan State University in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year.

Even though they have yet to win a game in C-USA and have fallen to two games below .500, Reese is confident in their ability to turn things around.

“I feel like we’re still fine,” Reese said. “It’s a long season. We still have a chance to end on a positive note. We can’t let this game beat us next game.”

Next up: The Mean Green host UAB at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Featured image: North Texas senior guard J-Mychal Reese (52) drives the lane againt University of Texas at Arlington. Colin Mitchell

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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