Final Box: NT 82 OU 95
NT Cume Stats
NORMAN, Okla. – Keith Coleman and the North Texas basketball team went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma, but in the end Lon Kruger’s group got the transition buckets that sealed a 95-82 win at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Alzee Williams pumped in 24 points and Keith Coleman earned his first career double-double for the Mean Green (1-1), but the Sooners (2-0) ran the floor with an efficient 53-percent shooting. Still, NT cut it to a four-point game with just over 12 minutes remaining.
“I think we competed well and took the scouting report to the floor,” said North Texas head coach Tony Benford. “We just have to get stops and cut our turnovers. We can score with anyone in the country, but we just have to put it all together.”
Oklahoma, who never trailed in in their last four home games of 2012-13, took the first punches from a spirited Mean Green squad in their home opener. Coleman made his first four shots, including a dunk that gave NT a 6-2 edge.
OU rebounded with their patented transition game, which opened up as much as a 14-point lead before Chris Jones and NT found their rhythm. Jones scored on three straight North Texas possessions, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Alzee Williams added another 3-pointer with 15 seconds on the clock to cut OU’s lead to 10 points. Brandan Walton had a look from deep at the buzzer, but it rimmed out and NT went in to the break down 48-38.
The three ball was effective all night for the Mean Green, and none was bigger than Brandan Walton’s offering from the left wing that cut the OU lead to seven points. North Texas splashed home six of their first 11 shots from deep.
Jordan Williams got into the act midway through the second half, and at one point scored 11 of NT’s 13 points over a 3-minute span. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the exact same spot as Walton cut the OU lead to four points with 12 minutes on the second-half clock.
That would be as close as NT would come.
Next up for North Texas
• North Texas heads back to Denton to take on Nicholls State on Thursday, Nov. 14. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• Keith Coleman poured in his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 boards – both career highs.
• OU has now won 20 straight home openers dating back to 1993 – Billy Tubbs’ final year as the Sooners’ head coach.
• With 24 points against the Sooners, Alzee Williams has crossed the 20-point plateau in both games this year. The senior tallied 22 points in the opener against Northwood.
• A solid rebounding effort kept North Texas in the game. NT out-rebounded the Sooners, 39-36, including an 11-9 edge on the offensive glass.