Rolling NT Looking To Sweep South Alabama
NT Basketball Takes Win Streak To South Alabama Saturday Night
North Texas (11-18, 6-12) vs. South Alabama (15-10, 12-5)
Feb. 23, 2013 • 7 p.m.
Mobile, Ala. • Mitchell Center (10,041)
Radio: MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
TV: N/A • Webcast: USAJaguars.com
Series: USA leads 13-8 • Streak: NT has won four straight
Last: NT won 66-56 in Denton on Jan. 12
MOBILE, Ala. – With three wins in its last four games, the North Texas men’s basketball team heads to Mobile in search of a season sweep of South Alabama. Tip off from the Mitchell Center is slated for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.
North Texas is 6-5 this year against Sun Belt Eastern Division teams, and seems to be firing on all cylinders of late. Over the last four games NT has averaged 69.8 points on 49.7 percent shooting, including a 45.7 percent clip from 3-point and an 82.4 percent free throw mark. In fact, NT is +5.3 in rebounding margin and is averaging 6.5 blocks.
Freshman point guard P.J. Hardwick is playing his best basketball since taking over the starting job 15 games ago. Over the last two outings, Hardwick has nine assists to zero turnovers, and is averaging 8.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 50.0 percent shooting.
Thanks to the blocking prowess of Tony Mitchell, NT is on the cusp of breaking the program’s single season team blocks record. With six team blocks on Thursday (four from Mitchell) NT moved into second place with 141 on the year. NT is just 10 swats behind the 2006-07 squad’s record of 151. NT ranks 44th in the country with 4.9 blocks per game, and Mitchell’s 2.7 per game ranks 18th in the NCAA.
USA leads the all-time series with NT, 13-8, although North Texas has taken the last four meetings. The pair first met in 1991 in Mobile in a 105-98 Jaguar win, and USA took return trip to Denton the following season, 84-79. The two didn’t meet again until NT joined the Sun Belt in 2000-01.
Augustine Rubit will once again be a strong candidate for Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. The junior leads the conference in rebounding at 10.7 per game, and is second in scoring with an average of 19.4 points. Rubit owns 15 double-doubles this year, and a dozen 20-point games.