Lawson's Career Night Not Enough In Loss To Charlotte
North Texas Outscored 53-38 In Second Half Defeat
DENTON - North Texas held a three-point lead with two minutes left but Charlotte went 12-for-12 from the free throw line to secure a comeback 82-81 victory Thursday night at the Super Pit. Freshman A.J. Lawson recorded his first career double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
The Mean Green (6-14, 0-8 C-USA) let a 14-point halftime lead slip away in the final minutes of the second half. With North Texas leading 75-72, Charlotte made four free throws to pull ahead 76-75 at the 1:36 mark.
After a clutch steal from senior guard Braxton Ogbueze, freshman Quentin Jackson hit two more free throws to make it a three-point game at 78-75. Sophomore guard Ja'Michael Brown had a long three-pointer to tie the game but missed. Jackson hit two more free throws to give Charlotte a five-point lead at 80-75.
Senior guard J-Mychal Reese nailed a three-pointer with four seconds left to get North Texas within two at 80-78. Charlotte's Jon Davis knocked down two free throws and Reese hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to make the final 82-81.
North Texas had four players in double figures with Lawson's career-high 23 points leading the way. Reese added 16 points and hit 3-of-6 from the three-point line. Graduate student Derail Green scored 12 points and Brown finished with 10 points.
The Mean Green left a bunch of points off the board going 13-for-20 from the free throw line and missed numerous layups. Charlotte won the game at the foul line going 18-of-20 (90.0 percent). North Texas outrebounded the 49ers 43-37 and only committed nine turnovers.
North Texas fell behind early as Charlotte opened the game with a 13-3 lead. The Mean Green responded with a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 15-12 after a three-pointer from Brown.
Freshman guard Ryan Woolridge came off the bench and provided a spark with six points during a six-minute span. Woolridge helped turn a five-point deficit into a two-point lead for North Texas at 26-24.
With 3:24 left in the half, North Texas would use a 12-0 run to take a 36-24 lead off seven-straight points from Lawson, including a highlight reel dunk on a fast break.
Senior guard Deckie Johnson gave the Mean Green a 43-29 halftime lead after making two free throws with 30 seconds left.
The 49ers immediately opened the second half with a 20-10 run to cut the Mean Green lead to four points at 53-49. With 12:33 Reese finished a driving layup to push the lead back to six points at 57-51.
Charlotte tied the game at 63-63 after a 12-6 run capped by two free throws from Jon Davis.
North Texas led 71-67 with 3:24 remaining off a layup from Lawson but just couldn't make enough plays in the end.
-North Texas scored a conference high 81 points
-Mean Green hit 10 or more three-pointers for the second time this season
-Junior Shane Temara made his third-straight start
-Lawson has scored in double figures in 11 games
-Reese has scored in double figures in 10 games
-Sophomore Ja'Michael Brown made his sixth-straight start
-Graduate student Derail Green has played all 20 games, starting 13
-Senior J-Mychal Reese made his 13th-straight start
-Freshman A.J. Lawson has made four starts in a row
North Texas will host Old Dominion on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. inside the Super Pit