Williams Sparks NT, Combs Finishes Off 78-65 Victory
North Texas Snaps Three-Game Losing Streak With Lunch Special At The Super Pit
Jeremy Combs had a career-high 25 points against Langston. (photo by Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports)
DENTON - Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, North Texas looked to its best player to take the lead.
Jordan Williams answered the call with the seventh double-double of his career, scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to ignite the Mean Green to a 78-65 win over Langston in a lunch-time start Wednesday at the Super Pit.
Following Williams's lead, freshman Jeremy Combs scored a career-high and team-season-high 25 points and senior Colin Voss added a double-double with 10 points, 10 boards and a career-best four assists.
"I was pleased to see a great effort from some of our guys on offense," North Texas coach Tony Benford said. "Jeremy and Jordan did a solid job, and Colin was solid. Defensively, we had too many breakdowns in our zone."
After jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead, North Texas struggled with its shooting touch through the first 12 minutes of play and trailed by as many as four, weighed down by sub-40-percent shooting and six turnovers. But in the final eight minutes of the half, the Mean Green began to exert its dominance inside. North Texas out-rebounded the Lions 22-13 behind six boards apiece from Voss and Williams and out-scored them 20-6 in the paint to take control of the game, then used six steals to spark a late 19-6 run for a 34-23 halftime lead.
But Langston was resilient throughout. The Lions immediately narrowed the gap to four in the second half, then held on as the Mean Green repeatedly tried to open a comfortable lead, keeping the North Texas lead in single-digits and trailing by just three at 54-51 with seven minutes to play.
Combs, however, put the game away by scoring 15 points in the final 6:26 of the game. Combs shot an efficient 73.3 percent on 11 of 15 field-goal attempts for the game.
Wednesday's double-double was the seventh of Jordan Williams's career and his second this season. It was also his 10th game to score 20 points or more.
Williams moved past Willie Davis into 14th place on the North Texas career scoring list. Williams now has 1,174 points for his career, surpassing Davis's 1,166.
Voss's double-double was the fourth of his career and first of the season.
Langston received 20 votes in the latest NAIA Division I Basketball Coaches Poll, narrowly missing landing in the top 25.
In the second half, Voss missed a free throw for the first time since Nov. 19.
This was the first meeting between North Texas and Langston.
North Texas hosts perennial-NCAA-tournament team Creighton this Sunday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. at the Super Pit, then hosts Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. in their final game before Christmas.