Williams, Jones Power NT Hoops To First C-USA Win
North Texas Downs Marshall, 80-65, For C-USA Milestone Win
The Mean Green (10-7, 1-2 C-USA) mixed its defense all night, which turned Marshall over 15 times, including eight in the first half, and held the Thundering Herd (6-12, 0-3 C-USA) to 30.8 percent from the floor.
Jones was the catalyst with nine points and eight assist, many of which went to Williams, who finished with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Colin Voss just missed his fourth double-double with 16 points and nine boards.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way we played tonight, “said North Texas head coach Tony Benford. “Our defense really helped create our offense tonight, and when Chris Jones is playing like that we’re a pretty unstoppable team. We really feed off his positive energy.”
North Texas led by as much as 18 midway through the first half, and held Marshall at bay when they cut the NT lead to eight points with 4:02 remaining. Williams had six points in the final four minutes to help close the win.
Blanketing perimeter zone defense fueled a 14-2 first half North Texas run that broke the game open. Jones had three of NT’s eight first-half steals, and turned them into five assists by halftime.
The Mean Green shot 53.3 percent from the floor in the first half and raced to a 39-27 lead at the break. NT finished with exactly 50 percent shooting overall on the night.
Next up for North Texas
• North Texas takes the five-hour drive to Charlotte, N.C. to take on 49ers on Saturday at 6 p.m. Central. The game will once again be broadcast on Time Warner Cable's SportsChannel.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• Jordan Williams posted his second career double-double with a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.
• Jordan Williams is now averaging 15.1 points per game for his career after the turn of the new year.
• Chris Jones' eight assists are the second most in a game in his career. The junior had 10 dimes as a freshman against Troy in Dec. of 2011.
• The win is North Texas' first C-USA conference win, and its second straight road victory.
• North Texas had eight steals in the first half. The last time an NT team had more steals at halftime was against UT-Permian Basin (9) on Dec. 28, 2005.
• Marshall won the only other meeting in the series, a neutral court matchup in Bloomington, Ind., that saw the Thundering Herd win 81-79 on Dec. 28, 1990.