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North Texas takes fifth conference win on last-second layup over Rice

North Texas takes fifth conference win on last-second layup over Rice

North Texas takes fifth conference win on last-second layup over Rice
January 19
22:56 2019

On a last-second layup from senior guard Michael Miller, the North Texas Mean Green men’s basketball team (17-2, 5-1 Conference USA) regained the lead and beat the Rice Owls (7-12, 2-4 C-USA) by a score of 76-75 Saturday at the Super Pit.

“[Miller] had confidence in the way he approached it,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “We talked about it during shoot around and he made a big time play.”

This was the Mean Green’s first win back after coming off of their first conference loss in a game on the road against the Texas-San Antonio on Jan. 12.

The Mean Green took a ten point lead early in the game but the Owls quickly answered and took the lead into the second half.

North Texas came back after being down by double digits on a 19-4 run to end the game with a win.

North Texas junior guard Ryan Woolridge drives through the lane for a layup against an Owls defender. Mean Green defeat Rice 76-75. Image by Trevon McWilliams. 

“We finally found a lineup that could put pressure on [Rice],” McCasland said. “We were able to guard them on the perimeter and start speeding the game up.”

Senior guard Jorden Duffy led the team in scoring with 19 total points on 5-for-9 shooting and 2-for-4 on threes.

“We were missing shots and that was affecting our defense on the other end,” Duffy said. “That was just something we had to pick up in the second half and we did.”

North Texas lost the battles on the boards trailing the Owls 41-31 in total rebounds.

Freshman guard Umoja Gibson put up 15 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and junior guard Ryan Woolridge led the team in minutes again. Woolridge scored 14 points and totaled five steals, eight rebounds and four assists.

“You have five guys out on the court that want to win and that’s really all it takes,” Miller said.

This is North Texas’ fifth conference win tying them with Marshall (12-6, 5-0 C-USA) for the most in the conference. The Mean Green will host Alabama-Birmingham (12-7, 4-2 C-USA) on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.

Featured Image: North Texas sings the alma mater after the close game against the Owls. Mean Green defeated Rice 76-75. Image by Trevon McWilliams. 

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Joshua Paveglio

Joshua Paveglio

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