DENTON (1/25/07) Senior Calvin Watson scored 21 points to lead the North Texas men’s basketball team to a 66-53 victory against Middle Tennessee on Thursday night in the Super Pit.
The Mean Green (14-6, 5-4) is now 9-1 at home and trails the series with the Blue Raiders, 4-3. With its 14 wins this season, North Texas has tied its win total from each of the past two seasons.
For the second straight game, Watson has scored 20-plus points. The senior has scored in double figures in every game this season except for two. He was 5-for-10 from three-point range, one shy of tying the career high that he set last game against Florida Atlantic.
With his five three-pointers, Watson moved into a tie for seventh place in the single-season list for three-pointers with 60.
The Mean Green raced out to an early lead in the first half and extended its advantage to double figures in the second stanza. North Texas capitalized on Middle Tennessee’s poor shooting in the first half and scored 18 points off the Blue Raiders’ 15 turnovers.
In the first half, North Texas held the Blue Raiders to 22 points and a 29.2 shooting percentage from the field. The 22 points was the fewest points that North Texas has held an opponent to in the first half this season, and the 7-for-24 shooting was the second-lowest field goal percentage that the Mean Green has held an opponent to in first halves of 2006-07.
Middle Tennessee improved its shooting in the second half (44.4 percent) and cut the lead to two points at 13:10, but North Texas responded with a 9-2 run to stay ahead.
Watson ended the first half with a three-pointer that put the Mean Green ahead by eight, 27-19. He then opened the second stanza with two three’s in the first four minutes to keep the Mean ahead, 36-29. Quincy Williams completed a three-point play to give North Texas its first double-digit lead of the second half, 39-29.
North Texas extended its lead to as many as 15 points in the last two minutes of the game.
Michael Sturns came off the bench to score 10 points with half of those coming from the free-throw line.
North Texas returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 28 when it faces South Alabama on the road.