Hoops Team Pulls Out Another Tight One In Boca Raton, 78-76
NT Riding Three-Game Win Streak Thanks To Team Effort Against Florida Atlantic
Colin Voss pulled down the night's biggest board with 1.8 seconds remaining, and iced the game with a pair of free throws.
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The last three games between North Texas and Florida Atlantic went into overtime. On Saturday night, the Mean Green made the plays down the stretch to ensure that this one didn't see an extra frame.
Jordan Williams scored a team-high 19 points and Colin Voss pulled down the night's biggest rebound - off a Marquan Botley missed 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining - and converted the game-clinching free throws for a 78-76 win over Florida Atlantic.
The Mean Green (14-13, 5-8 C-USA) shot 61.9 percent in the second half and slowed down an Owls (10-18, 5-8) attack that led NT by nine points with five minutes remaining in the first half. An all-around effort, North Texas' bench outscored their counterparts from FAU, 36-7.
"I told my guys at halftime if we keep battling and stay strong that we would get some stops," said North Texas head coach Tony Benford. "That's exactly what happened. I loved our intensity on both ends of the floor, and it made for a great all-around team win. We got solid production from everyone."
An inside-out attack from the Mean Green quickly erased FAU's 41-36 halftime lead. Brandan Walton and Kelvin Gaines fueled a 16-3 run that had NT up 54-46 with 13:30 remaining. NT would lead by as much as 10 points with 9:27 left in the contest, but Pablo Bertone & Co. made a valiant comeback.
Bertone finished with 26 points and Justin Raffinton had 27 to combine for 53 of FAU's 76 points. Raffington cut the NT lead to three points with 1:50 remaining, but NT scored the next eight to ice the game.
Next up for North Texas
• NT closes out its three-game road swing at in-state rival UTSA on Thursday night.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• The win gives NT a sweep of the Florida swing, FIU and Florida Atlantic, for the first time in four tries. NT is now riding a three-game winning streak.
• NT is now in a four-way tie for ninth place in the C-USA standings. The top nine teams receive a bye in the upcoming conference tournament.
• Chris Jones tallied four assists, which gives him 265 for his career. That total jumps Deon Hunter for 7th place in the NT career record books.
• For the first time this year, North Texas won a game in which its opponent shot better than 45 percent. The Owls shot 54.7 percent on the night, and NT is now 1-11 when allowing a team to shoot better than 45 percent.
• For just the second time this year NT overcame a halftime deficit. NT trailed 41-36 at the break, and is now 2-12 when trailing at the break.
• North Texas was held to a season-low eight rebounds at the half.
• The previous three matchups with the Owls went for a combined four overtime periods. NT entered Saturday night's game with a 7-3 edge in the overall series with FAU, but was 1-2 in Boca Raton.