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Friday, December 3, 2021

Hot start helps men’s basketball coast to blowout win over UT Arlington

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Article Originally Published by Tyler Luker on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Tyler Luker on North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball cruised to a 64-36 victory over the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks Thursday night, powered by a dominant first half.

It was a smooth win for the Mean Green, and the 12 points they allowed in the first half was the lowest UNT has given up during head coach Grant McCasland’s tenure.

The Mavericks played an overtime game against Abilene Christian University on Tuesday and looked sluggish for the entirety of the game Thursday. UTA’s 12 points in the first half came at the hands of abysmal shooting performance, as well as an influx of turnovers. In the first half, they shot 21.1 percent from the field and turned the ball over 11 times.

On the other side of the ball, fifth-year forward Thomas Bell found his shooting form, knocking down three three-pointers en route to a 19 point night. Bell’s range from deep was a welcome change for the Mean Green after his 0-6 performance from behind the arc in the game against Buffalo on Monday. McCasland said that Bell put in extra work right after the game to improve his shooting form.

“His work ethic is crazy,” McCasland said. “If you put in the work, you will get the results.”

North Texas’ hot shooting cooled down in the second half. However, it did not affect the result of the game due to the lead they built in the first half.

The Mean Green went 6-27 from the field, good enough for 22.22 percent, and did not make a single field goal over the last 12 minutes of the game. Bell said after the game that the team needs to figure out how to continue the success they had early in the game.

“We shot too many perimeter shots, and we did not rebound as well,” Bell said. “That is the stuff we need to clean up.”

The blowout win over UTA was a bounce-back performance after the loss to Buffalo, where the Mean Green fell apart at the end, losing 66-69.

“Monday was a tough loss,” Bell said. “We did not close out the last six minutes [on Monday] so, we need to work on finishing the game.

The win on Thursday closes out the opening homestand for North Texas, with the team’s record sitting at 2-1. The Mean Green will head to Florida to play the University of Kansas Jayhawks on Thanksgiving to open up the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational.

Featured Image:Sophomore forward Abou Ousmane attempts to elevate over a Buffalo defender to finish a layup on Nov. 15, 2021.Photo by Zachary Thomas

Source: North Texas Daily


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