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DENTON (2/08/07) Winners of four of its last five contests, North Texas (16-7, 7-5) looks to extend its home winning streak to 11 games against New Orleans at The Super Pit.
The Mean Green, only the second team in the last seven seasons to sweep Western Kentucky, will try to return the favor to the Privateers, who edged North Texas in double overtime, 97-93, in December. Tipoff against the Privateers is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.
The Mean Green is the nation’s 19th ranked offensive club, averaging 79.5 ppg and a 47.6 shooting percentage. North Texas jumped to 135 in the official RPI Ratings following the sweep of Western Kentucky. NT, 2-1 against the RPI’s top 100 teams, earned a Sagarin rating of 149.
New Orleans features the Sun Belt’s most explosive scoring threat in Bo McCalebb. The junior ranks fourth in the nation with 25.6 points per game. The Mean Green has faced three of the country’s top nine scorers this season.
One of the Sun Belt’s most competitive match ups, the Mean Green and the Privateers have split their last six regular season meetings and have taken each other to overtime three times since 2004. New Orleans holds an 11-5 all-time edge in the series, including a 10-3 mark since the pair became SBC foes in 2000. On Dec. 16, McCalebb poured in 39 points to lead New Orleans past NT in double-overtime at the Human Performance Center.
North Texas scored its 16th win on Saturday night, tops in the Johnny Jones era and the most since 1990-91 (17). The Mean Green is assured of a winning record for the first time since Jones’ first year in 2001-02. With another victory, you would have to go all the way back to 1977-78 to find a North Texas team with more wins (22). Only 11 teams (in 89 seasons) in school history have recorded more than 15 wins, including a school record 22 victories in 1977-78.
North Texas is currently riding a 10-game home winning streak, the fifth longest in school history. The Mean Green owns an 11-1 home record, its only loss came in a buzzer-beater to UT-Arlington. If the Mean Green sweeps its final four games at the Super Pit it would tie the record for the most wins in a season ever at the arena (14 1977-78 & 1975-76).
The Mean Green is outscoring the competition by 14.2 points per game in Denton. North Texas has won 81.5 percent (22-5) of its home games over the past two seasons.