Mean Green Drop C-USA Road Game At Southern Miss 75-65
Graduate Student Derail Green Scored Season-High 17 Points
HATTIESBURG, MS - North Texas battled back in the second half but fell on the road at Southern Miss 75-65 Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Mean Green (6-12, 0-6 C-USA) lost their seventh-straight game and are 0-7 on the road this season. The Golden Eagles improved to 6-12 and even their Conference USA record at 3-3.
"We played a better second half down the stretch," head coach Tony Benford said. "We came out flat in the first half and fell behind early. I thought A.J. Lawson and Ryan Woolridge gave us a spark in the second half."
Graduate student Derail Green led the team with 17 points off 5-for-10 from the three-point line. Green added six rebounds in 34 minutes off the bench. Freshman Ryan Woolridge showed off his athleticism and speed with a furry of late field goals. Woolridge tied his season-high with 15 points, eight rebounds and two steals off the bench. Classmate A.J. Lawson had 14 points, including 11 in the second half.
The Mean Green outscored Southern Miss 45-44 in the second half and dominated in bench points 40-26. North Texas struggled again from the free throw line going 10-for-24 (41.7 percent) and the Golden Eagles managed to hit 25-of-35 (71.4 percent).
Southern Miss started the second half on a 5-0 run to pull ahead 38-20 and hold their largest lead of the game at 18 points. North Texas got within 13 points after a layup and two free throws from Woolridge to make it 42-29.
North Texas started to use a full court press to get back into the game and got within 12 points at 62-50 after two free throws by Lawson. Senior guard Deckie Johnson nailed a three-pointer with 1:41 remaining to cut the lead to nine points at 64-55.
Southern Miss would hit free throws down the stretch to make the final score 75-65.
North Texas fell behind early as Southern Miss opened the game on a 10-1 run. The Mean Green settled in after a couple shots started to fall tying the game at 15-15 off a three-pointer from Johnson.
With 8:21 left in the half, sophomore guard Ja'Michael Brown nailed a three-pointer to give North Texas its first lead at 18-17 but it was short lived. The Golden Eagles responded with a layup just 17 seconds later to regain the lead at 19-18.
Southern Miss would close the first half on a 14-2 run to go into the locker room ahead by 11 points at 31-20. North Texas went scoreless for the last 2:42 of the half and shot only 2-of-11 from the free throw line.
North Texas finishes its road trip at Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center (TAC).
Mean Green Quick Hits
-First career start for junior forward Shane Temara
-Ninth start for freshman guard A.J. Lawson
-Eighth start for sophomore guard Ja'Michael Brown
-Senior guard J-Mychal Reese made his team-leading 16th start
-Derail Green scored in double-figures for the fourth time
-Ryan Woolridge scored in double-figures for the fourth time
-Lawson scored in double-figures for the 10th time