Red-Hot Williams, NT Welcome UALR Saturday
North Texas Rematch With UALR Saturday At 7 p.m.
North Texas (8-13, 3-7 SBC) vs. UALR (13-9, 7-4 SBC)
Jan. 26, 2013 • 7 p.m.
Denton, Texas • The Super Pit (10,500)
Radio: MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
TV: None • Webcast: MeanGreenSports.com
Series: UALR leads 17-9
Last: UALR won 67-53 on Jan. 10 in Little Rock, Ark.
DENTON, Texas – North Texas guard Jordan Williams has been on fire of late, and the Mean Green will need more of his heroics on Saturday when Sun Belt West Division leader UALR comes to town. Tipoff from the Super Pit is slated for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.
Williams, who poured in 20 points on Thursday night, has made his last 20 free throw attempts, which has vaulted him up the Sun Belt rankings. The sophmore leads the Sun Belt in free throw percentage in league games (85.0), and hasn’t missed since the Jan. 10 matchup at UALR. Overall, Williams’ mark of 81.3 percent ranks fourth in the SBC. Josh White, the No. 2 career free throw shooter in school history at 84.9 percent, had the last great NT free throw streaks of 23 and 24 consecutive makes in the 2008-09 season.
His teammate, Niko Stojiljkovic, has been nearly as hot. The senior is coming off what many regard as his finest performance at NT. Stojiljkovic just missed his first career double-double with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and nine rebounds. The Frenchman added a pair of nifty assists and a steal in a career-high 34 minutes. Stojiljkovic, who has started the last two games, posted a career-best 13 points last week at FIU.
If recent history is any indication, fans are in for an edge-of-their-seat game when North Texas and UALR tip off on Saturday. Since joining the Sun Belt in 2000-01, 12 of the 22 meetings between these two schools have either been decided in overtime or by less than five points. As a matter of fact, eight of the last 12 games have been decided by five points or less.
Prior to the Jan. 10 loss at UALR, North Texas had won five of the last six regular season meetings with the Trojans. UALR leads the all-time series 17-9, including a 15-7 mark since North Texas joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2000-01. UALR took the meeting in Denton last season, 69-66, thanks to 19 points and 11 rebounds from Will Neighbour.
UALR’s John Gillon has emerged as one of the Sun Belt’s top shooting threats from the stripe and beyond. The freshman leads the conference in free throw shooting at 83.9 percent, and his 40.3 mark from 3-point ranks seventh in the league. Gillon ranks in the SBC’s top 25 in scoring at 10.3 points per game, and is also averaging 2.4 assists per game.