North Texas (2-3) shifted their three-game losing streak in their home win over North Carolina A&M (1-4). They defeated the Aggies by a score of 80-60 after finishing the game with an overall field goal percentage of 54. North Texas finished shooting 52 percent from 3-point range while the Aggies shot 41 percent from the field and 17 percent from beyond the arc.
“We came out and we really moved the ball well,” junior guard James Reese said. “We played with a sense of urgency and stayed patient and opened up the defense.”
Four Mean green players scored in double digits, however, redshirt sophomore Umoja Gibson led the team in scoring with 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting and 4-for-7 from behind the arc.
“When [Gibson] plays like that he can take us very far,” redshirt junior Abdul Mohamed said. “If he keeps playing like that he’s going to boost everybody else up and he’s going to keep playing like that.”
Reese and redshirt junior Javion Hamlet both scored 13 points each and Deng Geu tallied 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting to go along with six rebounds. The Mean green struggled early starting 1-for-5 from the field and allowing the Aggies to jump out to an early lead. However, newcomers such as graduate transfer forward Deng Geu and junior guard Javion Hamlet managed to either score or assist on the first 14 Mean Green points, keeping North Texas in the game.
“It took us a little bit to get going,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “We were sluggish early, but you could tell the more we play together the better we played. I thought [Hamlet] was really pivotal early making sure that we got going.”
The Aggies came out and established an effective 9-1 run, however, McCasland called a timeout immediately and the Mean Green responded immediately with their own 11-0 run.
“Most nights we’re going to give great effort defensively,” McCasland said. “We had a little lapse there in the second half but, I’m proud of the way we competed on the defensive end.”
North Texas will return to action on Friday when they travel to Jamaica to play in the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic to play Rhode Island, they’ll follow that game up by playing against No.17 Utah State.
“The [team] is excited to get out of town and go to the beach,” McCasland said. “But, we’ve been clear on the reason why we’re going there: to get two wins.”
Featured Image: Redshirt junior Javion Hamlet dribbles into the lane to finish at the rim against North Carolina A&M on Nov. 19, 2019. Image by Zach Thomas