Western Kentucky Takes Down Mean Green At SBC Tourney

Box Score


MOBILE, Ala. (3/09/08) The North Texas men’s basketball team couldn’t contain a potent Western Kentucky squad, falling in the Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals, 84-70, at the Mitchell Center.


The Hilltoppers (25-5) connected on 10-of-19 three-pointers, including five in the game’s opening nine minutes to send the Mean Green (20-11) to an early tournament exit. North Texas came out of the halftime break on fire, but a late 14-4 Western Kentucky run put the Hilltoppers up by as much as 21 points with four minutes left.


NT finishes the year with 20 wins for a second straight season, marking the first back-to-back 20 win campaigns since 1976-78.


North Texas held the Sun Belt Player of the Year, Courtney Lee, to just six points at the half, but the senior shook loose in the second. Lee racked up 15 in the second half to finish with a game-high 21 points.


Josh White, the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, countered Lee with 15 points to lead three Mean Green players in double figures. Ben Bell finished with 12 points and Justin Howerton tallied a season-best 10 points.


North Texas opened the second half with a purpose, extending a 10-0 run that spanned to the first half. Keith Wooden and Ben Bell hooked up on a pair of fast-break layups to bring NT to within a point of the lead after going into the break down nine.


The Hilltoppers pushed the Mean Green around in the paint, using a 15-8 edge in offensive rebounds into a 22-6 advantage in second chance points.


The Western Kentucky shooters started the game on a hot streak. A.J. Slaughter and Orlando Mendez-Valdez both nailed a pair of 3-pointers as the Hilltoppers knocked down five treys in the game’s opening nine minutes.


The Mean Green, on the other hand, was cold in the opening frame. NT was 0-for-4 on 3-point attempts and hit just 37.5 percent from the floor, but managed to keep WKU without a field goal over the final 4:41 of the half.


The Hilltoppers went into the break with a 37-28 lead despite going 10-of-30 (33.3 percent) from the floor in the half.  




North Texas Mean Green