North Texas Daily

UNT travels to Florida for nationally-televised matchup

UNT travels to Florida for nationally-televised matchup

February 09
00:26 2012

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer –

The UNT men’s basketball team will kick off a Florida road trip as it takes on Florida International in a nationally-televised matchup Thursday.

The Mean Green will take on Florida Atlantic, the Sun Belt Conference’s other Florida school, on Saturday.

The FIU game can be viewed online at and on the Sun Belt Television Network.

“They are one of the most talented teams in our league,” head coach Johnny Jones said. “They have won their last two games, and it will be a really tough test and a great matchup for us.”

The Mean Green’s matchup with the FIU Golden Panthers (7-15, 4-6) will be the first meeting of the season between the teams. Since UNT (13-10, 6-4) joined the Sun Belt in 2000, the Mean Green has won 10 of the 13 games against FIU, with the last matchup ending in a 10-point victory for UNT, 87-77.

“We need to try and go inside early and get them in a little foul trouble,” junior guard Brandan Walton said. “We need to be aggressive on the ball and get to the [free throw] line. Free throws win games.”

Rebounds and assists could play a role in the game, as UNT ranks in the top half of the conference in both categories. The Mean Green averages 38.3 rebounds and 12 assists per game. This season in conference play, the Mean Green has out-rebounded conference opponents by an average margin of 1.3 per game, while the Golden Panthers have been out-rebounded 1.5 per game.

FIU also ranks dead last in the conference, with 9.1 assists per game.

However, FIU only has two players averaging more than 1.5 assists per game, meaning the Mean Green must expect every member of the Golden Panthers to penetrate into the paint and find an open shooter.

“Everyone on that team [FIU] is going to be handling the ball,” senior forward Alonzo Edwards said. “We’ll be a little out of our element with post-to-post ball screens, but if we do everything we’ve been practicing, we should come out with a victory.”

The teams will tip off at 6 p.m. Thursday at the U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami, Fla.

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