Poor Shooting Hurts Mean Green In Road Loss At Florida Atlantic
North Texas Finished With 17 Turnovers
BOCA RATON, FL – The North Texas men’s basketball team had a tough shooting night leading to a 74-54 road loss at Florida Atlantic on Saturday night at FAU Arena.
“Give Florida Atlantic a lot of credit today,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “They were the more physical team tonight and they did a great job of keeping Ryan Woolridge out of the paint.”
The Mean Green (14-15, 7-9 C-USA) have lost five-straight games and finished the night shooting just 31.3 percent off 21-for-67 from the field. North Texas also committed 17 turnovers leading to 20 points for FAU.
Sophomore A.J. Lawson led the team with 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior Jorden Duffy added eight points with seven rebounds off the bench. Sophomore Roosevelt Smart was held to eight points and zero made three-pointers. FAU has held Smart to zero three-pointers in two games this season.
The Owls were led by senior Justin Massey who scored 24 points off 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Gerdarius Troutman added 19 points off three three-pointers off the bench.
North Texas opened the second half with a 9-4 run capped by two free throws from Woolridge. With 16:29 remaining, Smart hit a layup to get the Mean Green within three at 42-39.
Florida Atlantic pulled away with a 16-4 run to lead by 15 points at 58-43 with 11:31 remaining. North Texas kept fighting with a driving layup by Woolridge to make it 58-45.
Six minutes later, FAU would hold the Mean Green scoreless and take their largest lead at 74-47 at the 4:01 mark. North Texas would end the game on a 7-0 run but ultimately suffer their worst defeat in conference at 74-54.
In a sloppy first half, Florida Atlantic finished the half on a 12-0 run to take a 34-26 lead on North Texas. Lawson led the team with 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Duffy added six points with four rebounds off the bench.
FAU opened the game by scoring the first seven points to put the Mean Green in a hole just two minutes in. North Texas settled in and outscored Florida Atlantic 12-to-5 to even the game at 12-12.
The Mean Green took a 26-22 advantage off a layup from Lawson with 5:30 remaining in the half. North Texas went cold not scoring another basket. UNT shot just 10-for-31 and was only 3-of-12 from the three-point line.
The Owls were 11-for-15 from the free throw line to help hold an eight-point halftime lead.
North Texas heads home to face UT San Antonio on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. and ends the season with senior night against UTEP on Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• Redshirt sophomore DJ Draper earned his first career-start at Florida Atlantic
• North Texas grabbed 47 rebounds, including 19 offensively
• Mean Green only shot 19 percent from the three-point line (4-for-21)
• Zachary Simmons played 12 minutes and grabbed three rebounds after missing the FIU game