DENVER, Colo.- North Texas men's basketball team fell to Denver 64-52 in its last trip to the Mile High City for a Sun Belt Conference game. Brandan Walton led the Mean Green with 13 points.
The victory gives Denver (21-8, 11-5 Sun Belt West) a school-record 21 wins and the No. 3 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament. The Mean Green (16-12, 9-7 Sun Belt West) receive a bye into the Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals, where they face No. 4 seed Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Mean Green put up a season-low 52 points, one point short of their previous season-low of 53 points, set against Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Lafayette.
North Texas struck first, going up 7-2 over the Pioneers to start a back-and-forth first half.
After the first 17 minutes of the game featured six lead changes and three ties, Denver went on a 15-4 run, including an 8-0 run immediately before halftime, to give the Pioneers a 27-20 halftime lead. Brian Stafford scored 11 points in that Denver run that eventually stretched the lead to 34-24, a lead the Pioneers held to the finish.
The Pioneers led by as many as 18 points in the second half, and led by at least 10 points for the last 14:07 of the game.
The Mean Green were able to give the Pioneers a scare late in the second half, going on a 6-0 run that closed the deficit to 60-50 with 1:56 remaining in the contest, Denver got an offensive rebound and used 51 seconds of clock to score on the next possession and ice the game.
Chris Udofia and Brian Stafford co-led the Pioneers with 15 points apiece.
Tony Mitchell finishes the Sun Belt season as the conference leader in points, rebounds and blocks. Mitchell had double-digit blocks for the seventh time in the past eight games and 11th time this season. Mitchell blocked three shots, the ninth time this season he has rejected three or more shots. He had seven first-half rebounds, a mark he has only topped once this season.
Brandan Walton led the Mean Green in scoring with 13 points, reaching double figures in points for the second straight game.
Alzee Williams scored 10 points, reaching double figures in scoring for the seventh straight game. Williams picked up a career-high seven rebounds
The Mean Green take on Louisiana-Lafayette in the first game of the Sun Belt Championship at 6:15 p.m. on March 3, in Hot Springs, Ark.