North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball wins 4 of last 5 games, non-conference slate continues

Men’s basketball wins 4 of last 5 games, non-conference slate continues

Men’s basketball wins 4 of last 5 games, non-conference slate continues
December 03
22:44 2022

Men’s basketball has continued the non-conference portion of its schedule for the last two weeks.

North Texas has begun to find its stride as the team sits at 6-2 early on in the season after starting 1-2. Players returning from injuries have propelled the team.

Dec. 3: North Texas 75, Omaha 45

North Texas was victorious in its last home game before conference play with a dominant 75-45 score over the University of Nebraska-Omaha. 

Junior forward Abou Ousmane led the team offensively with 19 points as Fifth-year forward Jayden Martinez went 4-4 from deep and scored 13 total points. 

Sixth-year guard Tyree Eady started out the scoring with a 3-point jumper followed by a score from senior guard Kai Huntsberry to open the game with a 5-0 North Texas run. 

The Mean Green did not give up their lead at any point in the first half and came away with a 29-22 lead at halftime. 

The second half featured an 11-0 scoring run for North Texas as Martinez hit back-to-back threes. Another Martinez three, two threes from sophomore guard Matthew Stone and a Huntsberry three elevated the Mean Green lead as they scored nine total three-pointers in the second half. 

Another three from Stone gave way to a 32-point lead for North Texas as it cruised to victory without surrendering the lead for the entirety of the contest. 

Nov. 25-27: Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship

The Mean Green took home second place in the Baha Mar Hoops tournament in Nassau, Bahamas on Nov. 25-27.

The team won its first two games over San Jose State University and California State-Long Beach to send it into the final round against the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where North Texas fell 55-51. 

In the first round, the Mean Green cruised by San Jose State behind senior guard Tylor Perry’s 35 points for a 69-54 win. Perry went 7-7 from deep, a single-game program record. Huntsberry put up 16 points. 

The team outscored Long Beach State 68-47 in the second round to send them to the finals. North Texas had a one-point lead going into the half and held Long Beach State to only 19 points in the second half. The night’s top scorer was Huntsberry with 22 points, followed by Ousmane with 20. 

In the championship game, the Mean Green had a season-high 17 turnovers that North Carolina-Wilmington turned into 20 points. A late surge put North Texas within three points with 10 seconds left, but it was too little too late as a final free throw for the Seahawks finished out their performance after holding the lead for the majority of the second half. 

“Our team was looking forward to playing in a championship game, and you got to give Wilmington a ton of credit,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “We played three games in three days. The toughest team wins, and I definitely thought [Wilmington] was the tougher team.”

Perry led the tournament in scoring with 64 total points across three games and was named to the all-tournament team.

Nov. 22: North Texas 76, Paul Quinn 46 

Men’s basketball got its third home win after a 76-46 victory over Paul Quinn. 

The game served as a “tune-up” before the Mean Green traveled to the Bahamas for the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship. Several players hit the court for the first time this season and the team was able to score consistently. 

“Any time you can get 14 guys in a game and win it is a positive,” McCasland said. “Experience is really important for us right now, just getting guys minutes so they learn how we want to play and so we have film to grow from.”

Ousmane, who was the top scorer of the night with 17 points, opened the scoring with a layup. A pair of free throws from Perry gave the Mean Green an early 4-0 lead. 

Paul Quinn sophomore guard Norris Williams had 16 total points on the night and made back-to-back shots to tie the game 11-11. 

Martinez hit a layup to give the team a 7-point lead about seven minutes into the game.

Tigers free throws put them within four points, but a 3-pointer from Eady started an 8-0 scoring run which featured layups from Ousmane and Huntsberry. 

“We were sharing the ball well to start the game,” McCasland said. “We obviously were scoring, but I thought the difference in the game was rebounding, and our defense locked down in the second half — we have a long way to go offensively, but I thought our defense was great.” 

Paul Quinn started out the second half scoring, but North Texas was quick to answer with a Perry layup followed by another from Ousmane.

“Paul Quinn came in and played extremely hard which is what we needed,” Perry said. “It is good for us going into the tournament, and hopefully it gives us the confidence to go win it — I think it is good that people are coming out of their shells and continuing to get better.” 

A scoreless three minutes ended with a 3-pointer from Huntsberry. Sophomore forward Moulaye Sissoko put up his first points with the Mean Green as he made two consecutive layups. Sophomore guard Aaron Scott tallied up two more with a layup and gave the team a 61-38 lead with eight minutes left in the game. 

The Mean Green tacked on a couple more layups, a fast break score from Stone, and finished the night with a 3-pointer from freshman guard Christian Moore. Defensively, the mean green held the Tigers to 18 points in the second half. 

“I think we are doing pretty good, and we are ready for the Bahamas,” Stone said. “We are just taking it one game at a time — my teammates have given me some major confidence in myself in practice, just telling me to keep my head up and keep working.”

A matchup at the University of Texas-Arlington on Saturday, Dec. 6 is next for the Mean Green. Texas-Arlington is 4-5 heading into the game. 

Featured Image: Junior Guard Rubin Jones holds the ball during a game on Nov. 19, 2022. Photo by Marco Barrera

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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