Reese Leads Men's Basketball To Road Win At Florida Atlantic
North Texas Snaps 11-game Losing Streak
BOCA RATON - Senior guard J-Mychal Reese scored 14 second half points to help North Texas snap an 11-game losing streak with a 70-64 road victory against Florida Atlantic Saturday night at FAU arena.
"Our senior J-Mychal Reese came up big for us tonight," head coach Tony Benford said. "Reese hit some big shots down the stretch and it feels great to get the first win. "We got great efforts from Shane Temara and Ryan Woolridge. It was a great team win and we will try to keep the momentum going at FIU."
The Mean Green (7-16, 1-10 C-USA) secured their first road win of the season in large part to the play of Reese and junior forward Shane Temara. Reese finished with 21 points (8-for-12) and a career-high nine rebounds. Temara scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
North Texas is now within three games of 12th seed Florida Atlantic (4-7 C-USA) with seven conference games remaining. The top 12 teams will make the 2017 Conference USA Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Mean Green came up big in the rebounding battle at 47-43. North Texas guards accounted for 28 of the 47 rebounds. North Texas finished the game shooting 90.9 percent (10-fo-11) from the free throw line to seal the victory.
Freshman guard Ryan Woolridge put his stamp on the box score with six points, pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds and dished out four assists.
FAU quickly opened the second half on a 6-0 run capped by a fast break layup from Jeantal Cylla. Cylla nailed a three-pointer to get the Owls within four at 37-33.
The Mean Green came right back with five-straight points off a three-pointer by Temara and a driving layup from sophomore Allante Holston. Florida Atlantic would take its first lead of the game with a 10-0 run to make the score 43-42.
North Texas left FAU hold a lead for 10 seconds as Temara finished a layup and Woolridge made a basket to regained the lead at 46-43. The Mean Green pushed the lead back to 10 points after a jumper by freshman guard A.J. Lawson with under 10 minutes left.
FAU made one last run to cut the lead to one-point at 56-55 with 4:58 remaining but Reese had other ideas. Reese would score the next 10 points, including a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give North Texas a 64-57 lead.
The Owls hit a three-pointer with under a minute left to make it a four-point game at 66-62 but North Texas went 4-for-4 at the free throw line to secure its first conference victory of the season.
North Texas came out firing in the first half starting the game on an 8-0 run. Florida Atlantic responded to cut the lead to 8-5 but the Mean Green kept answering back. Sophomore guard Ja'Michael Brown nailed a three-pointer and Lawson hit a jumper to push the lead back to eight points at 15-7.
Temara provided a huge spark to the offense with 11 first half points thanks to three dunks and a three-pointer. Temara also came away with five rebounds and two blocks.
FAU cut the lead to five points at 19-14 but North Texas wouldn't let them get closer with a 7-2 run. Lawson hit the last basket of the half to give the Mean Green an 11-point lead at halftime 35-24.
North Texas heads to Miami to face FIU on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. (CT).
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• North Texas snapped a 16-game road losing streak and an 11-game overall losing streak
• Mean Green has won six-straight games against Florida Atlantic
• North Texas finished 10-for-11 (90.9 percent) from the free throw line
• Shane Temara has posted at least six rebounds a game in the last five games. He has started the last six games.
• Reese grabbed a career-high nine rebounds
• Woolridge pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds
• Freshman A.J. Lawson made his 12th start of the season
• Senior guard J-Mychal Reese has started 16 games in a row