North Texas Daily

Recap: men’s basketball falls to Stephen F. Austin

Recap: men’s basketball falls to Stephen F. Austin

December 15
21:27 2013

John Lugo / Sports Editor

In its biggest halftime deficit in more than two years, the Mean Green men’s basketball team (5-5) never recovered and fell to the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks (9-2) by a final score of 87-53.

The Mean Green struggled to score to start the game, recording only two points in the first 6:29 of the gam. The team trailed at halftime by 23 points, its largest deficit since Nov. 22, 2011 against University of Texas-Arlington.

The Lumberjacks defense created many scoring opportunities, outscoring UNT in points off turnovers 28-9.  The Mean Green also shot 34.9 percent on field goals.

“I knew they were going to be the best defensive team that we’ve played all year,” head coach Tony Benford said. “They’re really tough. They play well together, they share the basketball, they play the right way.”

The team failed to match the physicality from SFA and it resulted in the Lumberjacks getting 13 more shots, as well as winning the rebound column 34-31 and the blocks column 8-2.

“They just kept going at us. We didn’t respond like we should have,” senior guard Vertrail Vaughns said. “They were one step ahead of us. It was all about effort.”

The Mean Green lacked ball movement throughout, which resulted in only two assists for the game. Junior guard Jordan Williams led the way for the Mean Green with 14 points and seven rebounds, and said the team continues to study how to prevent blowouts like this.

“We’re trying to figure that out as a team right now,” Williams said. “Studying, watching film and talking about it. We just have to put it all together.”

Junior forward Kelvin Gaines made his UNT debut tonight, as he missed every game this season so far with a stress fracture in his foot that he suffered in early October. He only played three minutes, as the team carefully monitors his progress.

Junior guard Chris Jones didn’t play in the second half after straining a lower back muscle, and junior forward Keith Coleman didn’t play at all after spraining an ankle in a recent practice. The timetable on the two is uncertain, but playing later this week is a possibility.

Next, the Mean Green faces the University of Central Arkansas (2-5) in the Super Pit on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

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