Men’s Basketball Opens C-USA Tournament Against WKU Wednesday

March 8, 2016

Senior Eric Katenda grabs a key rebound in a senior night win against Charlotte last Saturday (photo by Rick Yeatts). 

Conference USA Championship Second Round - North Texas (9th seed) vs. WKU (8th seed) 
Date | Time   Wednesday, March 9, 2016 | Noon CT
Location    Birmingham, AL | Legacy Arena
Live Stats    CBS GameTracker
Television   American Sports Network (Is it in my area?)
Radio   Mean Green Radio Network - 88.1 KNTU-FM
  Dave Barnett (PxP), Hank Dickenson (Color)
Twitter  @MeanGreenMBB
Tournament Info   Championship Central 
Game Notes   North Texas Championship Guide

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The North Texas men’s basketball team will begin the 2016 Conference USA Tournament with a familiar opponent in Western Kentucky Wednesday at noon inside the Legacy Arena.

The ninth-seeded Mean Green is looking to become the second nine seed to win the C-USA Tournament since St. Louis achieved the feat in 2000. The winner of the 8/9 matchup will face the host team UAB Thursday, March 10 at noon at Legacy Arena.

The first round, second round and quarterfinals will all be broadcasted on the American Sports Network. The semifinals will air on CBS Sports Network and the championship game will be on FS1 on Saturday, March 12 at 1:30 p.m.

North Texas earned the ninth seed after earning a tough 80-77 victory against Charlotte last Saturday in the Super Pit home finale. Senior Eric Katenda scored a career high 20 points and grabbed a couple of key rebounds late in the game. J-Mychal Reese and Deckie Johnson each finished with 19 points apiece. Freshman Ja’Michael Brown added 13 points off the bench.

Sophomore Jeremy Combs, who earned second team All-Conference, leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game and in rebounding at 10.8 per game. Nationally, he is 25th in double-doubles (14), 24th in field goal percentage (60.1), 24th in offensive rebounds per game (3.53), 14th in rebounds per game (10.8) and 12th in total rebounds (324). Combs is closing in on a couple of North Texas single-season records sitting sixth best with 324 rebounds and seventh best in field goal percentage at 60.1.

Reese is second on the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and leads the team in assists at 3.8 per game (116 total). His 116 total assists is four shy of 10th best in school history. Johnson is third at 14.6 points per game and has hit a team best 71 made three pointers. His 71 triples is currently four best and is six away from being third all-time.

The Mean Green are looking for their second postseason victory in the last three years.

About the Opponent: WKU
•This will be the 23rd meeting between the two teams with the first meeting coming on Feb. 3, 2001. In the last meeting on Jan. 16, 2016, WKU held on for a 81-76 road victory against NT. The Hilltoppers hold a 17-5 all-time record and is 4-1 against the Mean Green in postseason games.

• In the last meeting on Jan. 16, there were nine lead changes and six ties but WKU defeated North Texas, 81-76. Jeremy Combs had 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Reese led the team with 23 points and dished out seven assists. Johnson added 17 points but was three of nine from downtown.
The Hilltoppers had five players in double figures with Aaron Cosby scoring 16 points off nine of 10 from the foul line.

• WKU is 16-15 overall, 8-10 in conference and has won four of its last five games to vault to the No. 8 seed. The Hilltoppers won both home games to finish the season, including a 96-90 overtime win against LA Tech.

• WKU is led by Justin Johnson who leads the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and in rebounding at 7.7 per game. Aaron Cosby is second in scoring at 13.5 points per game and leads the team with 76 three pointers. Fredrick Edmond is third at 12.1 points per game and second in rebouding at 5.9 boards per game.

The Last Meeting
Western Kentucky81
North Texas76
January 16, 2016
The Super Pit
North Texas Men's Basketball Falls Short To WKU, 81-76
The Mean Green big three each scored in double figures, finishing with a combined 61 points, but as a team, North Texas was unable to make enough plays down the stretch and struggled at the free-throw line, falling to the Hilltoppers by a score of 81-76 on Saturday night at the Super Pit.



North Texas Mean Green