Smart's School Record 10 Three-Pointers Carry Mean Green Past Rice
Mean Green Win Third-Straight Road Game
HOUSTON - Sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart scored a career-high 42 points and hit a school record 10 three-pointers to lift North Texas on the road at Rice, 85-78, Saturday at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Smart's 42 points is the fifth highest scoring output in North Texas history and becomes the 14th player in school history to score 40-plus points. His 10 three-pointers set a new school record with the previous mark being eight by multiple players. Smart also went 10-for-12 from the free throw line and finished 50 percent from the three-point line on 10-of-20.
"We had great spacing with Ryan and Allante did a good job of delivering the basketball and driving," head coach Grant McCasland said. "In the second hald, we were able to move the basketball quicker and it got us some wide open looks and got Rose going and that was the difference in the game."
The Mean Green (10-8, 3-2 C-USA) nailed 17 three-pointers on the road, which is the second most in school history. The school record is 19 set back against Mary Hardin-Baylor on Nov. 25, 1996.
North Texas distributed the basketball really well against a zone finishing with 20 assists thanks to 10 from sophomore Ryan Woolridge and four from junior Allante Holston.
Redshirt sophomore DJ Draper provided a huge spark off the bench with a career-high 23 points, including six three-pointers. Draper was 8-for-11 from the field and grabbed four rebounds.
"He's one of the best shooters I've ever coached, maybe the best," McCasland said. "He just makes open shots and his deal is confidence and stepping out there knowing that we need him."
In the second half, North Texas came out on fire as Smart proceeded to hit back-to-back three-pointers to make the score 41-37. Smart pushed the lead to five points off another three-pointer as North Texas led 46-41. Sophomore Ryan Woolridge scored five straight points on his own to force Rice into a timeout as 51-41.
With 7:37 remaining, Ako Adams made a layup plus the foul to inch closer at 68-63. North Texas answered with a 7-2 run capped by another Smart three-pointer to make it 75-65 with 6:02 left.
Rice made one last run to get within three points at 77-74 but Smart's 10th three-pointer of the game was the dagger to go ahead 80-74 with 1:58 on the clock.
The Mean Green went 5-for-6 from the free throw line to seal the victory on the road at Rice, 85-78.
In the first half, Rice hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to go into halftime with a 37-35 lead. Draper hit a layup with 20 seconds left in the opening period to go ahead 35-34.
Both teams kept battling as the lead changed hands 10 times and the scored was tied five times in the first half.
Smart finished with 15 points and three three-pointers in the first half. North Texas had its biggest lead at 14-11 and Rice had a four point lead at 25-21.
North Texas continues its road swing as they head to Ruston, Louisiana to face LA Tech on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 6:30 p.m. broadcasted on the Stadium network.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• First time North Texas is 3-0 on the road in Conference play since 1990-91 season when they started 4-0 in the Southland Conference.
• Career-high 23 points for DJ Draper off a career-high six three-pointers made
• New starting lineup for the first time in 12 games as Ryan Woolridge, Roosevelt Smart, Allante Holston, Shane Temara and Zachary Simmons made the start
• Only six players scored a basket in the seven-point road win
• North Texas snapped a three-game winning streak for Rice in the all-time series
• Smart broke the single-game school record for three-pointers (10) in front of Calvin Watson who holds the single-season school record with 90 three-pointers