Balanced Effort Leads North Texas Past McNeese, 85-47
Mean Green Improve To 6-1 At Home
DENTON - A well-balanced offensive attack led to an 85-47 North Texas victory over McNeese State on Saturday at the Super Pit.
Sophomores Ryan Woolridge and Roosevelt Smart were the Mean Green's leading scorers with 15 points each. Woolridge also had a team-high five assists while senior Shane Tamera led the team with seven rebounds.
"From start to finish a more complete game for us," head coach Grant McCasland said. "Keys of the game were contesting shots and defensive rebounds. We didn't shoot well early, but we held them without any offensive rebounds, but there was more of a sense of urgency in the second half. I'm as proud of their defensive effort as much offensively."
The Cowboys and the Mean Green both exchanged the first couple baskets to begin the game, however a 16-2 run by the Mean Green catapulted a run that saw the Mean Green run away with the lead. North Texas got production all throughout the lineup as nine different players scored baskets in the first half alone. The Mean Green were able to extend their lead to as high as 40 points late into the second half in the victory.
"We kept our composure, we played at our pace and shared the ball," Woolridge said. "Once we got the ball, we were able to push in transition."
Freshman Zachary Simmons and junior Tope Arikawe each scored a career-high 11 points. Simmons was perfect from the field as he made all five of the shots he attempted. Along with Arikawe, the rest of the bench compiled 29 points in the effort.
"I'm starting to get a feel for the game and know my role in order to help the team win," Simmons said.
The Mean Green dominated the boards, outrebounding McNeese State by 16. 12 of those rebounds came offensively which resulted in 14 second chance points.
"We hear all the time about the importance of rebounding and now we're now seeing the results in the game," Simmons said.
Saturday's win also marks the Mean Green's largest margin of victory since their season opener against Eureka College back in November. With back-to-back wins, North Texas improves to 6-5 on the season.
- Saturday marks the sixth straight game Grant McCasland has gone with tonight's starting five (Woolridge, Smart, A.J. Lawson, Simmons, Temera).
- North Texas has now won six of the last eight meetings against the Cowboys.
- With 15 points, Roosevelt Smart collected his seventh straight double-digit point game.
- The Mean Green held the nation's 29th best rebounding team to zero offensive rebounds in the first half.
- North Texas is undefeated when shooting 50% or more from the field.
North Texas begins a four game road trip beginning on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. agaisnt the University of San Diego.