UNT Advances With Road Win At South Dakota In CBI Opener

March 14, 2018

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VERMILLION, S.D. - Led by 14 three-pointers, the North Texas men's basketball team advances to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) second round with a 90-77 win at South Dakota on Wednesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

The Mean Green (16-17) secured their first division one postseason win and first postseason win since a NAIA tournament win in 1943.

North Texas finished the game with 14 three-pointers, including seven from sophomore Roosevelt Smart and a career-high four from junior Michael Miller. Smart led the team with 34 points off 7-for-18 from downtown and pulled down seven rebounds.

Junior Jorden Duffy, made his first start of the season, scored a career-high 19 points and was 6-for-6 from the foul line. Miller also had a career-high 19 points with six rebounds.

Freshman forward Zachary Simmons had one of his best performances of the season with nine points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. The 17 rebounds for Simmons is the most in a game since Jeremy Combs had 18 at LA Tech on Feb. 25, 2016.

The Mean Green continued to do damage on the glass outrebounding South Dakota, 49-to-43, including 10 offensive rebounds. North Texas also came away with 15 second chance points in the victory.

In the second half, North Texas increased its lead to nine points after back-to-back three-pointers by Smart with 18:23 remaining. Miller went on a 5-0 run to push the Mean Green lead to 13 points at 56-43 at the 14:43 mark.

Another quick 7-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Smart and a layup by Duffy put North Texas ahead 63-45 with 12:20 left. The Mean Green held their largest lead at 73-51 at the 7:28 mark off another three-pointer by Smart.

South Dakota made a late run to get within eight points at 85-77 with 50 seconds left but North Texas stepped up and made clutch free throws. The Coyotes missed a couple of opportunities down the stretch and North Texas went 5-for-6 from the line in the closing seconds to win 90-77.

90 points for North Texas is tied for the third largest scoring output of the season.

North Texas took a four-point lead into halftime thanks to 11 points from Roosevelt Smart, Michael Miller and Jorden Duffy. The Mean Green shot 50 percent off 8-for-16 from downtown in the first half.

The Coyotes jumped out to a 7-3 lead off a three-pointer by Tyler Hagedown at the 17:58 mark. Miller lead a 9-2 run with back-to-back three-pointers to give North Texas a 12-9 lead.

South Dakota answered with a 9-0 run to take an 18-12 lead capped by a Trey Burch-Manning jumper at the 11:57 mark. Smart tied the game at 18-18 with two-straight three-pointers to force a South Dakota timeout.

The 3-ball would continue to fall as Duffy nailed two-straight three-pointers to pull ahead 30-21 with 6:02 left in the half. The Coyotes outscored the Mean Green 14-9 to cut the lead to 39-35 at halftime.

Up Next
North Texas will host the winner of Mercer and Grand Canyon on Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m. inside the Super Pit. Purchase tickets here.  

Mean Green Quick Hitters
• First career start for Jorden Duffy and Michael Miller
• Duffy's first-half three-pointer broke the school record for most three-pointers as a team
• Career-high 17 rebounds for Simmons
• 14 Three-pointers made is the second most since hitting 17 at Rice on Jan. 13
• Just the third loss in three seasons for South Dakota at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center
• First postseason win in the division one era for North Texas
• Mean Green shot 20-for-27 from the free throw line (74.1 percent)



North Texas Mean Green