North Texas Daily

Return of Tylor Perry fuels men’s basketball win over Fresno State

Return of Tylor Perry fuels men’s basketball win over Fresno State

Return of Tylor Perry fuels men’s basketball win over Fresno State
November 20
12:33 2022

Men’s basketball defeated California State University-Fresno 61-52 at home on Saturday night.

The Mean Green (2-1) were coming off a 30-point loss to Saint Mary’s College of California and were ranked last in the nation for average points per game. The return of senior guard Tylor Perry, who led the team in scoring with 21 points, and junior guard Rubin Jones saw the offense score at a higher level. 

“I think just us being out there gave them that extra boost of confidence,” Perry said. “Me and Rubin [Jones] do not have to score the ball all the time, just us being on the floor opens up for other people.” 

Perry went down in practice two days before the team’s opening game, forcing him to sit out the first two matchups with a knee injury. Perry described the two weeks as likely “the worst of [his] life.”

“We thought it was a serious meniscus injury at first, but it happened to not be so serious, just a couple bone bruises and a strain,” Perry said. “It was fine, and I’m blessed to be able to play basketball again.” 

Jones has been out since the team’s appearance in the 2022 National Invitation Tournament and has not practiced since July, head coach Grant McCasland said.

“When they first called my name [tonight], I was just smiling,” Jones said. “It is a wonderful feeling to play basketball again — I was comfortable from the jump and I was just happy to be on the court.”

A back-and-forth affair consisted of seven lead changes before North Texas was able to settle in and take a commanding lead, primarily due to Perry’s on-target three-point shooting. Perry went 4-10 from three on the night.

A pair of threes from Perry and a wide-open three from sophomore guard Aaron Scott fueled a 16-0 run that carried about midway through the first half, putting the Mean Green up 23-10. 

“It was fun being back out on the floor,” Perry said. “We give credit to Fresno [State], they are a well-rounded team and very well coached — we just executed and ended up on top.” 

Fresno State chipped away at the North Texas lead as it went on a run of its own to end the first half.  A three-pointer from Fresno State graduate guard Jemarl Baker, who had 12 points on the night, was the catalyst for the team to put up 10 unanswered points from free throws and scores off of turnovers. The score was 31-28 in favor of the Mean Green going into the half. 

Both teams came out hot to start the second half as Fresno State began the scoring with a quick layup. Sixth-year guard Tyree Eady hit a three-pointer and Fresno State answered to keep itself trailing by one. 

“That last [Fresno State run] with it being 48-47, I thought, this is Mean Green basketball,” McCasland said. “We took care of the basketball and did not turn it over for the last 10 minutes of the game. You can tell there was a maturity level with how to finish.”  

Going forward, the team will focus on building its confidence and readjusting to having Perry and Jones back on the court, McCasland said. 

“I felt like our offensive depth is actually really good,” McCasland said. “You can see that we do have depth at the guard spots where multiple guys can score, it’s just about the comfort level and finding that balance.” 

The Mean Green will play versus Paul Quinn College on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Super Pit. 

Featured Image: Junior guard Rubin Jones goes to shoot a basket against Fresno State at the Superpit on Nov. 20, 2022. Photo by Marco Barrera

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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