Benford vs Pitino Round 2 Set For Saturday
Former Big East Assistants Square Off Saturday
North Texas (8-17, 3-11) vs. FIU (13-10, 8-6 SBC)
Feb. 9, 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: NT leads 11-4 • In Denton: NT leads 5-2
Last: FIU won 70-64 on Jan. 17 in Miami
DENTON, Texas – A pair of longtime Big East Conference assistants will square off once again when North Texas’ Tony Benford and FIU’s Richard Pitino take the Super Pit floor on Saturday.
Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network stations of 88.1-FM and 95.3-FM.
Benford is in charge at NT after spending the last four years at Marquette, including the 2011-12 season as the Associate Head Coach. Pitino, son of legendary head coach Rick Pitino, was named the FIU head coach in April after three years under his father’s tutelage at Louisville. Pitino also spent last year as Associate Head Coach.
Last month in Miami, NT’s comeback bid from 18 points down fell short in a 70-64 loss to FIU. A 3-point play from Roger Franklin, who led all scorers with a career-high 29 points, with 1:07 remaining made it a 3-point game. That’s as close as NT would come. Tymell Murphy led FIU with 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting. FIU posted a 34-18 edge in points in the paint, and racked up 33 points off 23 NT turnovers.
NT leads the overall series with FIU 11-4 after falling to the Golden Panthers last month in Miami. Still, NT has won five of the last seven meetings and nine of the last 12. In Denton, NT holds a 5-2 edge over FIU. NT and FIU first met as Sun Belt opponents in 2000 with a 70-68 North Texas victory in Denton.
The loss to WKU extended NT’s losing streak to five games. The last time NT posted a longer losing streak came when the 2002-03 squad lost eight straight to end that season. NT isn’t in any danger of catching the school record of 19 straight losses set in 1965-66.
Alzee Williams has been a workhorse for North Texas over the past two years. In fact, the junior is on pace to top the 1,000 minute barrier in back-to-back seasons. Only one other player in school history, Josh White (‘09, ‘10, ‘11), can claim multiple 1,000-plus minute seasons.