First Half Run Dooms North Texas At Nebraska
Cornhuskers Outscored Mean Green 52-30 In First Half
LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska opened the game on a 25-2 run and never looked back as North Texas men’s basketball fell 86-67 on the road Monday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The first road game of the 2017-18 season started bad but the Mean Green came away with a lot of positives, including winning the second half 37-to-34.
“It’s a great place to play with great fans,” head coach Grant McCasland said. “They beat us on the first play of the game with a rebound and a three-pointer. After that, we were on our heels to start the game. I am proud of the way we competed in the second half and never gave up.”
Nebraska scored the first seven points and 21 of the next 25 points to take a commanding 28-4 lead in the first half. North Texas settled down and outscored Nebraska the rest of the game but that run proved to be the difference.
Senior Shane Temara had his second-straight solid game with a double-double on 16 points and 11 rebounds. Temara had five offensive rebounds and was 7-of-10 from the field in 27 minutes. Redshirt sophomore DJ Draper scored a career-high 10 points off 3-for-3 from the three-point line in 24 minutes. Junior Allante Holston added 10 points off the bench.
James Palmer, Jr., led Nebraska in scoring with 18 points and Glynn Watson, Jr., had 15 points. The Cornhuskers went 33-for-45 from the free throw line in the victory. It was a physical game that saw a combined 56 fouls called between the two teams.
The Mean Green held Nebraska to just 25 percent from the field in the second half and just 1-for-9 from the three-point line. Sophomore Ryan Woolridge opened the second half with two quick buckets and ended the game with 14 points and six rebounds. Woolridge played 27 minutes despite fouling out with five fouls.
With 11:36 remaining, Draper hit his third three-pointer of the game to get North Texas within 19 at 62-42. Two minutes later, Woolridge made a layup and was fouled off an assist by Holston to make the score 67-50 with 9:18 left.
North Texas continued to battle with Holston making a highlight dunk at the 5:15 mark driving the lane and finishing to make the score 75-54. The Mean Green couldn’t get any closer but played a solid second half to fall 85-67.
In the first half, Nebraska came out firing with a 25-2 run in the first nine minutes of the game. The Cornhuskers couldn’t miss going 7-for-8 from the field early on. Nebraska held its largest lead of the half after a dunk from Isaiah Roby to make the score 35-8.
Draper was inserted into the game and provided a huge spark immediately finding freshman Zachary Simmons for a dunk. Moments later, Draper nailed a three-pointer and two minutes later hit another 3-pointer.
The Mean Green settled down and cut the lead to 21-points off a corner three-pointer from Temara at the 1:54 mark. Woolridge scored the last five points of the half, including an athletic offensive rebound and layup with 19 seconds left. Temara had 10 points, Woolridge added seven points and Draper chipped in with six.
North Texas will return home for a three-game home stand starting with Bethune Cookman on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Super Pit.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• North Texas starters for the second-straight game: Ryan Woolridge, Umoja Gibson, Roosevelt Smart, A.J. Lawson, Shane Temara
• Temara finished one rebound shy of tying his career-high with 11 rebounds
• Redshirt sophomore DJ Draper scored a career-high 10 points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the three-point line
• Mean Green fall to 0-5 all-time against Nebraska
• Nebraska had 15,059 people in attendance to witness the non-conference matchup
• North Texas finished with a season-high 17 turnovers
• The Mean Green had 28 points off the bench thanks to Draper (10 points), Holston (10 points)