1,000 Point Scorers Help NT Hoops Take Step Forward In '13-14





Chris Jones ranks third in North Texas history with 127 career steals, and sixth with 282 career assists.

DENTON, Texas - Senior Alzee Williams and junior Jordan Williams paved the way for the North Texas basketball team to take a step forward in its first year in the revamped Conference USA.

Both athletes joined the North Texas 1,000-point club during the regular season. Alzee scored his 1,000th point on Feb. 20 against FIU before Jordan joined him five says later against UTSA. Alzee finishes his Mean Green career 18th in all-time scoring with 1,064 points and Jordan is right behind him in 19th with 1,045 and still has another year to go.

North Texas finished with 16 wins on the year, and a 16-16 record. Only 18 teams in North Texas history have posted 16 or more wins, and this is just the 30th .500 season by a Mean Green team since World War II. The win total is a four-game improvement over the injury-plagued 2012-13 season, which saw NT players miss 82 games due to injury - the third most in the country.

"My first season, we had so many injuries and we were up and down and really struggled," said North Texas head coach Tony Benford. "We made a lot of progress this year. We had a big win over Texas A&M. We played some quality teams, at Oklahoma, BYU and Stephen F. Austin, which are all NCAA Tournament teams."

A 20-point win over Texas A&M on New Year's Eve in College Station was the biggest win of the year for the Mean Green. While the world watched A&M take down Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, North Texas quietly pounded the Aggies on their home court for a 61-41 upset victory.

After an up-and-down conference season, the Mean Green came together over the final weeks of the regular season. NT posted a four-game conference win streak - all on the road. The last time NT won four straight road games was in 2009-10.

"We're excited to be in Conference USA," Benford said. "I think it's a great league. I think it's a league that deserves a couple of NCAA Tournament bids. We know what we need to do to compete in this league. Our goal is to win a conference championship and get to the NCAA Tournament. We're going to continue to work towards that and recruit towards that. I feel like our program is headed in the right direction with all of our young players coming back."

After a come-from-behind overtime victory against Rice in round one of the C-USA tournament, Tulane turned the tables on the Mean Green in round two, knocking North Texas out with a 66-61 win.

In his final game with the Mean Green, senior Brandan Walton led North Texas with 16 points in the loss to the Green Wave.

Walton finished his final season with a 36 percent 3-point shooting percentage - the second highest on the team. Senior Vertrail Vaughns finished his only season with the team fourth in scoring with 225 points.


 

 

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