NT Hoops Answers WKU Run, But Can't Hold Off Toppers Late

Feb. 5, 2015

Jeremy Combs pulled down a career-high tying 13 rebounds in the 65-59 loss at Western Kentucky on Thursday.

Box Score: NT 59 WKU 65 Get Acrobat Reader

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - North Texas renewed its rivalry with Western Kentucky in style. Massive performances from Armani Flannigan and Jeremy Combs helped NT erase a 17-point Hilltopper lead, but the Mean Green couldn't make a late five-point lead stand up in the closing minutes of a 65-59 loss at E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday.

NT and WKU combined to make seven Sun Belt Conference Tournament finals appearances between 2006 and 2012, but took a brief one-year break in their rivalry to find their way into Conference USA. Their first meeting as C-USA foes got off to a sleepy start, but the Hilltoppers clearly woke up first and posted a 25-5 first-half run.

It took North Texas a few minutes longer to come to its senses, but the Mean Green answered WKU with a 27-13 run that spanned four minutes into the second half.

Flannigan entered the night with a career high of 10 points, but had eclipsed that by halftime. The senior had 12 points at the break and finished with 14. Flannigan helped North Texas weather WKU's first-half storm, and the rebounding presence of Combs allowed them to gain ground. The freshman pulled down a career-high tying 13 boards and scored nine second-half points

A 12-foot Colin Voss jumper with 4-minutes to play put the Mean Green on top, 59-54, but that would be the last time NT would score. Back-to-back Hilltopper 3-pointers gave WKU back the lead, and they closed with a pair of buckets and a free throw.

Quick Hits

• The Mean Green shot 48.3 percent in the second half, and held WKU to 36.4 percent.

• The 13 points from Jordan Williams are his lowest scoring output in C-USA play this year.

• NT turned the ball over just 10 times for a second-straight game. That tally is only one off NT's season-low outing at Old Dominion.

• North Texas trailed by as many as 17 points in the first, and the starters were 2-of-20 from the floor in the first half.

• The Hilltoppers tallied 16 fast-break points in the openeing frame, but we're held without a fast-break point in the second.

• Entering tonight's matchup, WKU had won the last three meetings with NT, and held a 15-5 edge in the overall series between the two former Sun Belt rivals.

Up Next

North Texas makes the four-hour drive to Huntington, W.V. to take on the Thundering Herd of Marshall on Saturday at 6 p.m. Central



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