Men's Basketball Defeats Houston Baptist In Exhibition, 84-81
Freshman Umoja Gibson Scored 19 Points
HOUSTON – Freshman Zachary Simmons scored the game-winning basket with 18 seconds left to lift North Texas men’s basketball on the road at Houston Baptist, 84-81, in an exhibition Sunday at Sharp Gym.
With the Mean Green trailing by one point 81-80, Simmons was able to muscle his way inside and score with 18 seconds left. Houston Baptist tried to answer but North Texas forced a turnover to seal the victory with three seconds left. Sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart made two free throws to ice the game.
The new look team finished with four players in double-figures, including 20 points from Smart and 19 points from freshman Umoja Gibson. Sophomore A.J. Lawson finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Defensively, North Texas created a lot of loose ball opportunities and came away with 11 steals, including six from sophomore guard Ryan Woolridge. Woolridge filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, five assists, six steals and three rebounds.
In the second half, no team had a lead bigger than eight points thanks to nine lead changes and 10 ties.
Smart scored 11 of his 20 points in the second half to help North Texas come away victorious.
North Texas led 47-43 at halftime thanks to 17 points from Gibson. Lawson added 11 points and Smart hit three three-pointers.
The Mean Green used a 15-3 run in the half to build a 10-point advantage. Gibson sparked the rally with 10 of the 15 points.
Houston Baptist kept the game close by closing the first half on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to four.
The Mean Green finished the game shooting 36.9 percent from the field (24-of-65) and 42.1 from beyond the arc (8-for-19).
The Mean Green will open the 2017-18 season on Nov. 10 against Eureka College at 5p.m. at the Super Pit.
-Starting five: sophomores A.J. Lawson, Ryan Woolridge, Roosevelt Smart, freshman Umoja Gibson, junior Tope Arikawe
-Smart and Gibson combined to shoot a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line
-Lawson and Simmons each grabbed a team-high nine rebounds
-The Mean Green went to the foul line 43 times
-North Texas forced 20 turnovers from Houston Baptist