Combs Posts Double-Double In Losing Effort Against UTA
Mavericks Outscored North Texas 43-to-31 In Second Half
DENTON - Junior Jeremy Combs returned after sitting out four games and posted his first double-double of the season but UTA used a strong second half to defeat North Texas men's basketball, 77-61 Saturday at the Super Pit.
The Mean Green saw its three-game winning streak come to a close and now sit at 4-4 on the season. UTA continued its hot stretch having won five-straight games improving to 6-3. Kevin Hervey finished with 21 points (8-for-13) and 10 rebounds in the victory. Senior Jorge Bilbao added 14 points.
"I have to give UTA a lot of credit for coming into our house and getting the win today," head coach Tony Benford said. "I thought Jeremy gave us a big lift today but our guards didn't execute throughout the game and struggled offensively."
Combs, playing his first game after missing the last four due to an injury, posted his 18th career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Combs came off the bench and had an efficient game finishing 8-of-12 from the field.
North Texas just couldn't get the shots to fall finishing the game 20-for-64 (31.3 percent) and only 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) from the three-point line. Senior Deckie Johnson and freshman A.J. Lawson combined to shoot 1-for-20 from the field.
"I thought we had some good looks tonight but we didn't move the ball enough," Benford said. "We did a nice job getting back into the game but never made UTA feel uncomfortable. This team will continue to get better as the season moves forward."
In the first half, the Mavericks pushed ahead 8-0 and a jumper by senior J-Mychal Reese gave the Mean Green their first points at the 16:32 mark.
With 8:51 remaining in the half, Hervey would start to get hot building UTA's lead to 25-10 off five straight points. Reese cut the lead to 11 with a three-pointer at the 3:31 mark to make it 32-21.
Combs would make a couple of layups to get North Texas within six at 34-28 in the first half. Reese ended frame with two free throws and the Mean Green would hold UTA scoreless for the last six minutes of the half.
With momentum shifting towards North Texas, the Mavericks wouldn't let it happen by opening the second half with a 7-0 burst to take a 41-30 advantage.
The Mean Green kept fighting off a jumper from Reese to make the score 41-34 but UTA would pull away. The Mavs would hold their biggest lead of the game after a 22-6 run put the game out of reach.
With 8:38 left in the game, Combs would score 10 of the team's next 16 points but North Texas couldn't get closer than 14 at 67-53. The Mean Green would fall to DFW rival UTA 77-61.
•Second time this season North Texas has started Reese, Lawson, Johnson, Green and Brice, Jr.
• Combs returned from an injury after missing the last four games and earned his 18th career double-double
• Sophomore Allante Holston set a new career high with four steals
• North Texas set a season high with 11 steals
North Texas will remain home to face Delaware State on Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Super Pit. Tip-off set for 7 p.m.