NT Took Down Another Giant, Now Time To Win Next One
Valentines Day Showdown With Blue Raiders On Saturday At 7 p.m.
North Texas (10-13, 4-7 C-USA) vs. MTSU (13-12, 6-6 C-USA)
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DENTON - With over three quarters of the regular season in the books, no one can accuse the Mean Green of not being able to reel in the giants on the Super Pit hardwood.
North Texas made enough clutch buckets and defensive stands to knock off first-place UAB on Thursday night - the team's second win over a C-USA first place team in the last three weeks. Only LA Tech, who the Mean Green took down at the Super Pit on Jan. 22, can claim more victories over current top-four teams in the C-USA standings.
Throw in December's win over traditional Big East power, Creighton, and NT's has put together a few quality wins to hang their hat on.
But North Texas' problem this year hasn't been the great white sharks, it's been the minnows.
The Mean Green followed up the Creighton victory with a loss to previously winless Prairie View A&M just two days later. LA Tech left the Super Pit with a loss, but Southern Miss was able to sneak out with their only C-USA win in 12 tries in NT's next game.
On Saturday, Tony Benford & Co. have a chance to prove they've put all that behind them. With wins in three of their last four home games, and coming off a monster win over the Blazers, North Texas welcomes Middle Tennessee to Denton.
Far from a bottom feeder at 6-6 in C-USA, the Blue Raiders represent a chance at redemption and an opportunity to climb further up the logjam that is the conference standings. MTSU is one of the seven teams within three games of the Mean Green in the table.
MTSU is coming off a heartbreaking 71-68 double-overtime loss at Rice on Thursday, which gives the Blue Raiders four losses in their last five games. Rice scored 21 points off 22 MTSU turnovers.
The Mean Green apparently loves playing on Valentines Day. NT is 14-9 all-time on Feb. 14, including an 89-78 victory at Middle Tennessee in 2009 - still the program's only win in Murfreesboro, Tenn. That night, Josh White and Adam McCoy exploded for 26 and 24 points, respectively, and NT shot 60.4 percent from the floor for the night.