North Texas Daily

RECAP: Men’s basketball asserts their will on defense in 30-point win over UTEP

RECAP: Men’s basketball asserts their will on defense in 30-point win over UTEP

RECAP: Men’s basketball asserts their will on defense in 30-point win over UTEP
January 15
23:30 2021

In their first home game of conference play, North Texas men’s basketball (6-5, 2-1 Conference USA) dominated Texas-El Paso (6-5, 2-3 C-USA), defeating the Miners by a score of 66-33. With the win, the Mean Green moved to 5-0 at home on the young season, compared to 1-5 on the road.

What really stood out in the win was the Mean Green’s defense as they held UTEP to 33 points on 11-of-51 (21.6 percent) shooting and 2-of-25 (eight percent) on 3-pointers. In allowing just 33 points, the team set a program record for the fewest points allowed since moving to the Division I level in 1957.

McCasland said one adjustment he made defensively after the team’s 77-69 loss to Texas-San Antonio on Jan. 2 was to get more players in the game early to keep the energy level up. He subbed early and often, with 11 North Texas players seeing action and none playing more than 29 minutes on the game.

“We played a lot more guys early in the game to keep the energy up defensively,” McCasland said. “I thought Jalen, Abou, JJ, Terrance, really gave us a lift off the bench, and that energy is what can kinda help you maintain the physical play that you need in order to do it for 40 minutes.”

Senior guard James Reese led the team in scoring with 16 points on the night, including eight of the team’s first 12 points during a cold start offensively. Defensively, Reese said the team was very focused on having a strong game defensively, particularly to start the second half as they went on a 15-4 run out of the halftime break

“It’s always defense with us,” Reese said. “If our defense is flying around active, executing the game plan well, players are gonna play well — so then it just happened tonight.”

McCasland said one adjustment he made defensively after the team’s Jan. 2 loss to Texas-San Antonio was to get more players in the game early to keep the energy level up. Senior guard JJ Murray, who finished with four points, two rebounds and two steals, was one of several bench players McCasland said had a big impact on the game.

“We played a lot more guys early in the game to keep the energy up defensively,” McCasland said. “I thought Jalen, Abou, JJ, Terrance, really gave us a lift off the bench, and that energy is what can kinda help you maintain the physical play that you need in order to do it for 40 minutes.”

Another key contributor on the night was senior forward Zachary Simmons, who finished with six points, five rebounds and a career-high five assists.

“Honestly, I think Zach can have five assists a night if we make our shots,” Reese said. “Zach is a great passer. He loves passing it to us, so we want to make the shots for Zach.”

Senior guard Javion Hamlet’s scoring struggles continued as he finished with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting. Hamlet made his presence known with his team-high eight rebounds, however, leading the effort on the glass as North Texas out-rebounded the Miners 4- to-24.

“Javion Hamlet was our leading rebounder,” McCasland said. “That shows you that there’s a commitment to that end. That’s what I appreciate about J-Ham is he’s committed to winning right now. When all else may not be perfect, it’s that part of the game that you gotta be about.”

UP NEXT: The Mean Green will be back in action at 3 p.m. on Saturday for the second game of a back-to-back series against UTEP.

Featured Image: Redshirt senior guard Javion Hamlet drives past UTEP defender on Jan. 15, 2021. Image by Zachary Thomas

About Author

John Fields

John Fields

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: How to honestly move on from a problematic past 📝 @rhemajoybell 🖼️ @GishhyOrange https://t.co/vhTPOUg1Fs
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
SPORTS: C-USA Kickoff provides look forward as football season approaches 📝 @JohnFields0 📸 @Tzac24 https://t.co/HVApHFkwdX
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ARTS & LIFE: Giveback Market raises money for Denton survivors 📝 @HannahJohnsUNT 📸 @JohnAndersontx Content warning: This article contains language and content related to sexual assault and domestic violence. Reader discretion is advised. https://t.co/90JxJAlIOD
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: The difference between gatekeeping and defending a fanbase 📝 @OberkromJaden 🖼️ @GishhyOrange https://t.co/rY6YMTTXs3
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: To some, recent closures of local businesses signal a change in Denton culture 📝 @McKinnonRice 📸 @JohnAndersontx https://t.co/Rsv4kGwY1x
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram