North Texas Drops Defensive Battle At Old Dominion, 55-48
Mean Green Hold ODU To 28.1 Percent Shooting
NORFOLK, VA -- North Texas battled all night on the defensive end but just couldn't hit enough shots to overcome a 55-48 road loss against Old Dominion Monday night at Ted Constant Convocation Center.
The Mean Green fall to 6-8 on the season and are 0-2 in Conference USA play. Old Dominion improved to 9-5 and 2-0 in C-USA action. North Texas held ODU to just 28.1 percent (18-for-64) from the field, which is the lowest output since Nov. 26, 2014 against Mississippi Valley State (26.2 percent).
Senior guard J-Mychal Reese led the team with 12 points off 4-for-8 shooting and was 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Reese continues to keep getting better after dishing out four assists and not committing a turnover in 25 minutes. Graduate student Derail Green provided North Texas by tying his season-high with 12 points off the bench, all coming from the three-point line (4-for-7).
North Texas struggled from the free throw line which proved costly going 12-for-21 in a seven-point defeat. The Mean Green had shot 65.0 percent or better in 11-straight games before missing nine free throws against the Monarchs.
Senior guard Keith Frazier chipped in with eight points off the bench and was 2-for-3 from downtown. Junior Jeremy Combs scored seven points and grabbed 11 rebounds (nine defensive) in a game-high 32 minutes.
It was a struggle for both teams offensively in the first half as North Texas failed to make a field goal until the 7:28 mark. The Mean Green battled back to only trail 23-17 at intermission.
The Monarchs took an early 15-3 lead after North Texas was only able to hit three free throws on six attempts. Reese hit a jumper in the paint for the first field goal to cut the lead to 15-5.
With 3:03 left in the half, ODU held its largest lead at 23-11 off a jumper by Brandon Stith. The Mean Green would not go away after ending the half on a 6-0 run thanks to a late three-pointer from Green.
North Texas opened the second half with a layup from Combs just 38 seconds in to cut ODU's lead to four points at 23-19.
With 11:00 minutes left, the Monarchs pushed their advantage back to nine points after a basket plus the foul from Zoran Talley. Reese came right back with back-to-back buckets to make it a five-point game at 36-31.
Green nailed a three-pointer off an assist from Reese to get the Mean Green within two points at 36-34. Both teams exchanged baskets but North Texas kept fighting after another three-pointer from Green at the 4:06 mark. With the Mean Green trailing by just one point, Old Dominion got a block on the defensive end and turned it into a transition three-pointer from Jordan Baker to all by seal the victory.
Frazier had a chance to cut the lead to three-points at the 1:15 mark but was only able to hit 2-of-3 from the foul line. Old Dominion would go 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the final minute to clinch the home win.
North Texas heads home to host UAB Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. broadcasted on ESPN 3.
Mean Green Quick Hits
-Senior guard J-Mychal Reese started his 11th game of the season
-Reese scored in double-figures for the seventh time this season
-Green scored in double-figures for the third time this season
-North Texas held ODU to just 19.0 percent shooting from the three-point line (4-for-21)
-Sophomore guard Allante Holston started for the sixth-straight game
-Freshman guard A.J. Lawson made his seventh start of the season
-Third time this season, North Texas has started this lineup (Reese, Lawson, Holston, Combs, Brice, Jr.)