Second Half Dooms North Texas At Northern Iowa, 93-70
J-Mychal Reese Scored A Career-High 19 points
Junior J-Mychal Reese had a career high 19 points against UNI (photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
CEDAR FALLS, IA – Despite leading at halftime, the North Texas men’s basketball team couldn’t hold off a second half surge by Northern Iowa in a 93-70 loss on the road Monday night.
“We have to continue to keep getting better,” head coach Tony Benford said. “We played a great first half but couldn’t sustain a couple of runs they had in the second half. I thought both guards J-Mychal (Reese) and Ja’Michael (Brown) played well for us. A couple of early turnovers in the second half cost us and we couldn’t recover.”
The Mean Green shot well from the floor hitting 28-of-54 (51.9 percent) and tied a season-high with nine three-pointers. North Texas sits at 2-4 on the season having lost four straight games after opening the year 2-0.
Junior J-Mychal Reese filled up the stat sheet scoring a career-high 19 points off 7-of-10 from the field. Reese dished out six assists with two steals and was 3-for-6 from the three point line in 32 minutes.
Northern Iowa, who came into the game receiving 25 votes in the top-25 national poll, scored 52 second half points to cruise to their fifth-straight win. The Panthers, who are ranked No. 2 in the top-25 mid major poll, are known for their hot shooting finishing 30-of-54 (55.6 percent) from the field. UNI had six players in double figures with Bennett Koch leading the team with 18 points and five rebounds.
Freshman Ja’Michael Brown led the spark off the bench with 13 points off 5-of-10 from the floor. Brown added three assists and a season-high four steals. The Mean Green received 30 points off the bench in the loss.
North Texas went into the locker room with a 43-41 first half lead after a lights-out shooting performance in the opening frame. The Mean Green were shooting 69.2 percent off 18-of-26 and was 4-for-9 from downtown. Reese and Brown led the way with eight points apiece at intermission.
Northern Iowa would open the second half on a quick 5-0 run to take a 46-43 lead just 43 seconds into the final half. Back-to-back three pointers from junior Deckie Johnson and Reese would give North Texas a 49-46 advantage.
Six minutes later, the Panthers went on a 9-0 run thanks to a three pointer from Matt Bohannon opening up a 55-49 lead with 15:30 left. North Texas kept fighting drawing within four points at 57-53 off a layup from Rickey Brice Jr. with just under 14 minutes to play.
UNI would put the game out of reach thanks to a monster 19-6 run after the Mean Green were held scoreless for almost four minutes. The Panthers would take home the victory at 93-70.
North Texas heads back to Texas to face in-state rival Texas-Arlington Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. in Arlington.
Mean Green Quick Hits
-North Texas tied a season-high with nine made three-pointers
-Junior J-Mychal Reese scored a career-high 19 points and was in double figures for the fifth time this season
-Junior Deckie Johnson fell one point shy of scoring double figures in all six games
-Freshman Ja’Michael Brown had 13 points scoring in double figures for the second time this season
-First meeting between the two teams