LA Tech Free-Throw Fueled Run Overcomes Mean Green Hoops
Bulldogs Shoot 42 Free Throws In 90-75 NT Loss In Ruston
LA Tech coaches and admin honored NT associate head coach Rob Evans prior to tipoff.
RUSTON, La. - The North Texas basketball coaches emphasized the need for a fast start against Louisiana Tech, one of the nation's top five scoring offenses. That's exactly what they got for the first 17 minutes, but the Bulldogs came alive and raced away for a 90-75 win on Saturday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
The Mean Green (11-12, 2-7 C-USA) went on top, 16-8, after a Vertrail Vaughns layup with 13:28 on the first-half clock, and posted 18-fast break points in the opening frame. The Bulldogs' (20-5, 8-2 C-USA) potent offense woke up with three minutes left in the half, and out-scored NT 27-6 over the next 11 minutes.
A 3-pointer from the left corner with 4-seconds remaining in the first half gave LA Tech a 37-36 lead, a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"I thought we did a great job with our zone and transition offense to start the game," said North Texas head coach Tony Benford. "I give them credit for punching back, and they showed why they are one of the best teams in this league."
It was the Bulldogs' ability to get to the free throw line and their prowess from deep that got them back into the contest. LA Tech shot an NT opponent season-high 42 free throws, and was 10-of-23 from 3-point on the night.
Jordan Williams led the Mean Green with 17 points and10 rebounds for his third career double-double. Colin Voss just missed his second straight double-double with nine points and nine boards. Alzee Williams and Vertrail Vaughns also reached double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Next up for North Texas
NT's three-game road swing ended at LA Tech, so the Mean Green returns home to face Old Dominion on Thursday Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
LA Tech was 32-of-42 from the stripe on the night, which are both opponent season highs. In fact, the last NT opponent to shoot 42 free throws was on Dec. 31, 2008 (MTSU, 44 free throws.)
NT out-shot LA Tech, 50.0 - 45.3 percent, and posted a 34-33 edge in rebounds.
LA Tech now holds a 19-7 edge in the overall series, and has won the last nine contests. The Bulldogs are 11-1 against NT in Ruston, and NT's lone win over LA Tech in Ruston was in 1952.