VIDEO: Simmons Growth Helping Mean Green
North Texas Hosts WKU Thursday At 8
|North Texas men's basketball vs. Western Kentucky|
|Date | Time||Thursday, Feb. 15 | 8 p.m.|
|Location||Denton, TX | The Super Pit|
|TV||Stadium - Ron Thulin (PxP), Tim Scarborough (color)|
|Radio||MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM - Dave Barnett (PxP), Hank Dickenson (Color)|
|Game Notes||North Texas | WKU|
DENTON -- Freshman Zachary Simmons has helped North Texas exceed expectations in year one and with six regular season games remaining will be counted on down the stretch in the push towards the Conference USA tournament in Frisco.
Simmons has started 20 games in a row after earning a start on the road at Georgia Tech. In his first collegiate start, Simmons pulled down eight rebounds. Simmons has started all 12 Conference USA games and is fifth on the team in scoring at 6.7 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game.
His best stretch of the season came against Florida Atlantic and FIU back in January when Simmons grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds against the Panthers. Simmons added 10 points in the win against FAU.
Simmons leads the team in field goal percentage at 66.3 percent off 61-for-92 from the field and also has a team-best 19 dunks on the season.
The Mean Green (14-11, 7-5 C-USA) enter the matchup against the Hilltoppers in a tie for fifth place just a game behind fourth place Marshall, who they will face on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. at the Super Pit.
All-session tickets for the 2018 Conference USA Basketball Championships Presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas are now available.
Two different ticket options are available now for purchase. General Admission tickets are $125, while General Admission Premium tickets are $180. All pre-sale tickets provide access to all six sessions of the event. Single-session tickets will be available on Monday, March 5, following the release of the championship brackets.
Fans may purchase their all-session tickets here: C-USA Basketball Championships Pre-Sale Ticket Link
About the Opponent: Western Kentucky
• This will be the 25th meeting between the two teams with WKU leading 19-5 and hold a 6-4 record at the Super Pit.
• In the previous meeting, North Texas fell on the road at Western Kentucky, 74-63, on March 2, 2017. J-Mychal Reese finished with 14 points and Ryan Woolridge added nine points with six assists. WKU's Pancake Thomas had a game-high 23 points. The Hilltoppers Justin Johnson finished with a double-double off 12 points and 10 rebounds.
• In the last meeting at the Super Pit, North Texas battled but WKU came away with a five-point win 81-76 on Jan. 16, 2016. J-Mychal Reese scored 23 points, Jeremy Combs had 21 points and Deckie Johnson added 17. WKU's Johnson had 13 points.
• Western Kentucky is 18-7 overall and is tied for second in the C-USA standings with a 10-2 league record. The Hilltoppers only losses are against Middle Tennessee (66-62) and at UTSA (74-63). WKU is 4-1 in its last five games and have won two in a row.
• The Hilltoppers have five players averaging double-figures with senior Justin Johnson leading the way at 14.4 per game. Johnson leads the team in rebounding at 9.5 per game. Darius Thompson leads the team with 42 three-pointers and is averaging 14.4 points per game.
• WKU is No. 56 in the RPI and have the No. 3 scoring offense in Conference USA at 77.6 points per game. Most of their points come inside the paint as they lead the league in field goal percentage at 49 percent.