Men's Basketball Falls Short To Old Dominion, 73-67
Reese Leads Mean Green With 17 Points
DENTON -- The North Texas men's basketball team kept pace with one of Conference USA's top defensive and rebounding teams but came up just short down the stretch, falling 73-67 to Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon at the Super Pit.
The Mean Green's struggles continue as the team lost its 10th straight game. For the second straight game, North Texas had opportunities to win but let the game get away in the end.
"I thought we had a great game plan," North Texas head coach Tony Benford said. "We couldn't make the plays down the stretch. We couldn't get a stop at the end, which has been the problem for us."
The Mean Green outscored the Monarchs, 21-12, from the free-throw line but missed four key throws in the final minutes of the game. North Texas shot well from the charity stripe at 75 percent, above its season average of 64 percent.
North Texas held a four-point lead 45-41 at the 11:09 mark after a layup by A.J. Lawson. From that point on, the Monarchs slowly began to peck away at that lead. Admad Caver, who tied for his team's lead with 18 points, gave ODU a 51-50 lead at 8:27 with two free-throws. Despite tying the game twice more, North Texas would not regain the lead.
J-Mychael Reese, who led the Mean Green with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 54-53 with 6:50 on the clock. After a miss by ODU, Ryan Woolridge tied the game with one free-throw but missed the second to keep it a tied ball game.
Reese tied the game a final time, 56-56, after two made free-throws. The senior guard scored 10 of his final 17 points in the final seven minutes of the game, drawing fouls with drives to the basket and hitting deep jumpers.
Rickey Brice, Jr, who scored 13 points after missing three games, made seven straight free-throws before missing two straight with ODU ahead, 67-64, with 52 seconds left in the game. Allante Holston grabbed the offensive rebound after Brice's miss to keep the possession alive, and North Texas had opportunities to tie the game twice but missed both 3-pointers by Ja'Michael Brown and Derail Green.
"I thought Rickey came in and had a presence," Benford said. "I told our guys to get him the ball. Moving forward, we have to get him the basketball."
North Texas was forced to foul, and Old Dominion was successful from the line.
"We had opportunities down the stretch, but didn't make the shots," Benford said. "You have to make the shots."
North Texas was held without a field goal for the final 2:40 of the game.
The Mean Green continues their homestand with a Saturday afternoon game against Rice on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
North Texas is winless in the series against ODU, trailing 7-0.
Shane Temara has posted at least six rebounds a game in the last three games. He has started the last four games.
Ryan Woolridge dished out a career-high six assists.
Shane Temara scored in double-figures for the fifth game this season.
Rickey Brice Jr. recorded his fifth game in double-figures with 13 points. Brice tied a career high with seven-made free-throws.
J-Mychal Reese, the team's leading scorer, led the team with 17 points.