Lawson Sparks Mean Green Win Against Bethune-Cookman
Four Starters Scored In Double-Figures
DENTON - Following a loss on the road against Nebraska, North Texas bounced back at home on Thursday night to defeat Bethune-Cookman, 90-78.
Sophomore Roosevelt Smart was able to rebound following his performance against Nebraska on Monday night to lead the Mean Green with 22 points. Sophomore A.J. Lawson had a resurgence of his own by scoring 19 points and shooting 7-for-15 from the field. Lawson scored more points than his previous two games combined.
"Our defense was solid in the first half and they had great stretches all throughout the game," head coach Grant McCasland said. "We are all so new and they are playing so hard. I'm proud of the way we stuck together."
North Texas appeared to look poised for a great night offensively after an 8-0 run early in the first half. That narrative was shortly changed as the Mean Green struggled to make three-pointers, shooting under 30 percent off 3-of-11 from the field.
The Mean Green defense held strong all throughout the first half, holding the Wildcats to 33 points and two three-pointers.
Smart ignited a 12-5 run to end the half with a three-pointer and finished it up with a layup and a free throw after drawing a hard foul.
"It was important for us to get easy baskets and score in transition," Smart said of the run to end the half. "That run was all about being aggressive at the rim and getting to the free throw line."
North Texas came out of the locker room on fire by going on a 19-3 run to start the second half led by Woolridge, who was able to score three quick buckets and draw a foul. Woolridge would go on to score 18 points in the game in a team-high 36 minutes.
After leading by as much as 25 points, Bethune-Cookman was able to chop the lead down to eight points behind junior guard Brandon Tabb who had 20 points on the night. A Smart fast-break layup with under a minute left in the contest, however, extended the lead and sealed the victory for the Mean Green.
- Grant McCasland debuted a new starting line up which featured sophomores Ryan Woolridge, A.J. Lawson, Roosevelt Smart, junior Allante Holston, and senior Shane Temara.
- A.J. Lawson's scored a season-high 19 points.
- With 18 and 11 points, Ryan Woolridge and Shane Temara have scored in double figures in all three games this season, respectively.
- The Mean Green had 17 fast-break points, only giving up four to Bethune-Cookman.
- North Texas only trailed 2-0 early in the game before taking control and leading until the final buzzer.
- The Mean Green have started 2-0 at home.
North Texas will return to action next Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. to take on UT-Rio Grande Valley at The Super Pit.