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Recap: Mean Green fall at home in tight game with Eastern Michigan

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The North Texas men’s basketball team (1-3) fell by a score of 56-51 to Eastern Michigan (4-0) at home on Saturday. In a game in which the Mean Green shot 40 percent from 3-point range, they were faced with a challenging zone with lengthy defenders that gave some trouble getting inside the paint stealing it 13 times from North Texas.

“They were a good team,” center Zachary Simmons said. “They played some good defense and pushed it quick in transition.”

North Texas had a chance to tie or take the lead in the final 20 seconds. Sophomore Umoja Gibson turned the ball over in an attempt to find graduate forward Deng Geu cutting to the basket.

North Texas shot 38 percent from the floor overall and they turned it over 19 times while the Eagles shot 41 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.

“You look at our stats and 13 of our [turnovers] came from our new players,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “It shows you our inexperience and I have to do better with these guys to make it where they can play more confident and aggressive without turning the ball over.”

The Mean Green outrebounded the Eagles on the boards 34-31 however the Eagles stole the ball 13 times to North Texas’ six.

“Our interior defense was good,” Geu said. “We just didn’t get some of the easy points, we had good looks they just weren’t falling.”

Geu led the Mean Green in scoring with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting to go along with his 11 boards, Gibson scored 11 as well on 3-of-12 shooting. Redshirt junior Javion Hamlet scored 10 on 3-of-7 shooting, however, he had seven turnovers.

“We’ve got some guys who are going to play well,” McCasland said. “We have a tough schedule, this was a good team who were good at rebounding and they were long and physical.”

Both teams started off the game locked in on their respective defensive sides as there were only 14 points scored in the first ten minutes of the game. The Eagles would go on to conclude the first half with the 29-22 lead, North Texas managed to climb back into the game at the start of the second period.

The Mean Green came out hot in the second period and took the lead. There were 31 lead changes in the entire game, but the Eagles would respond with a strong defensive effort down the stretch to seal the win.

North Texas remains only 1-3 on the season with the lone win coming against a non-Division I team, but McCasland isn’t worried as this is still a new team.

“This is all in preparation for our league,” McCasland said. “This team will get better, I’m convinced of that. This team is going to win because they love each other and they care about this.”

Featured Image: Junior forward Zachary Simmons hangs from the rim after dunking at the game against Eastern Michigan on Nov. 16, 2019. Image by Jordan Collard

Article Originally Published by Joshua Paveglio on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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