Mean Green Drop Defensive Battle At Georgia Tech
North Texas Held Georgia Tech To 22 First Half Points
ATLANTA, GA -- In the second road game of the season, the North Texas men's basketball team battled but came up short at Georgia Tech, 63-49, Friday night at McCamish Pavilion.
"Well first of all, it was a great atmosphere and a fun place to play a game," head coach Grant McCasland said. "It is my first time in this facility and I want to give coach (Josh) Pastner a lot of credit. He has got a short-handed team you can tell and I know (Ben) Lammers got hurt a little bit at the end of that last game before they played us. He just did a really good job of changing defenses and keeping people just kind of off-base and it was tough on our young team."
The Mean Green were within single-digits a couple of times late in the second half but Georgia Tech held on for the 14-point victory. Sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart scored 14 second half points and senior Shane Temara added 7 points.
North Texas kept the game close going 8-for-15 from the three-point line, including four from Smart. The Mean Green finished the game 18-of-46 from the field and outrebounded Georgia Tech 31-to-24.
The Yellow Jackets were able to force 19 North Texas turnovers, which led to 15 points for Georgia Tech. Freshman guard Jose Alvarado led the team with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Senior guard Tadric Jackson returned after a three-game suspension and scored 14 points.
In the second half, Georgia Tech changed their lineup going small with four guards increased its lead to eight points off a three-pointer from Curtis Haywood. With 14:05 left, Ben Lammers made a layup to give the Yellow Jackets a 34-23 lead.
“Well, it won them the game to be honest," McCasland said. "We couldn’t really guard them because they had four guys around Lammers and it took our guys out of help. We were really trying to help off a couple of guys and we didn’t care if they ever shot it. Unfortunately, when they went small we didn’t have anybody we could help off of as much."
In the next six minutes, Smart found the range scoring 11 points to keep the Mean Green within eight at 51-43.
Georgia Tech answered with a 5-0 run from Jackson off two buckets plus a free throw. With 3:59 remaining in the game, redshirt sophomore DJ Draper buried a corner three to get North Texas back within eight points at 56-48.
Tech would outscore North Texas 7-1 to end the game and make the final score 63-49.
It was a defensive first half with Georgia Tech coming out with a 22-19 lead. Senior forward Shane Temara had five points to lead the Mean Green.
North Texas started the game with a 3-2 lead off a corner three-pointer from sophomore Ryan Woolridge. Woolridge found a cutting Allante Holston for an alley-oop slam to give the Mean Green a 7-4 lead at the 13:45 mark.
Georgia Tech went on an 8-0 run to pull ahead 12-7, their largest lead of the first half. Temara answered with a corner three to cut the Yellow Jacket advantage to two points.
With 5:25 left in the half, junior guard Jorden Duffy nailed a three-pointer to give North Texas a 15-14 lead. The Mean Green would build a 19-16 lead off a put-back score from junior Tope Arikawe.
The Yellow Jackets ended the half on a 7-0 run thanks to freshman guard Jose Alvarado, who finished with nine points and five rebounds.
North Texas will return home to face Grambling State in the final game of the Ramblin' Wreck Showcase on Monday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Super Pit.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• New starting lineup for the Mean Green -- Ryan Woolridge, A.J. Lawson, Roosevelt Smart, Zachary Simmons and Shane Temara
• Simmons earned his first collegiate start and had a career-high eight rebounds
• North Texas gave up a season-low 22 points in the first half
• Smart scored all 14 points in the second half
• The Mean Green outrebounded Georgia Tech 31-to-24