DENTON (11/15/06 ) Jermaine Griffin scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer to give Texas-Arlington an 83-81 victory against the North Texas men’s basketball team on Wednesday night at the Super Pit.
The Mavericks moved to 2-0 on the season, while the Mean Green (2-1) lost its first game of the year.
Senior Kendrick Davis tied the game at 81-81with 8.5 seconds left in the second half. North Texas had trailed most of the second half. Davis’ basket was the second time in the second period that North Texas had tied the game.
Davis led four players in double figures with 17 points. Keith Wooden poured in 26 points, while Quincy Williams tied a career high with 15 points. Calvin Watson hit four three-pointers. The senior finished with 14 points.
Griffin led all scorers with 24 points. Eight of his points came from the free-throw line.
Williams gave North Texas its only lead of the second half, 40-39, with the first shot of the second period. Texas-Arlington raced off on a 14-3 run to take a 10-point lead, 53-43, with 16:09 left in the game.
Michael Sturns came off the bench to lead the Mean Green on a 14-5 run to cut the Mavericks lead to one, 58-57, with 12:13 on the clock. Sturns scored all four of his total points in the run. Texas-Arlington scored its next six points from the free-throw to maintain its lead.
Rich Young scored back-to-back baskets, his first points of the game, to tie the game at 71-71 with 5:21 on the clock. UTA refused to give up its lead, scoring on its next possession in the paint. Wooden brought North Texas within one again, 73-72, after hitting one of two free throws.
In the last five minutes of the game, North Texas came within one point of the lead four times. Texas-Arlington continued to pound the ball inside where the Mean Green was forced to foul.
The Mavericks were finally forced to foul with 1:19 remaining when Wooden had control of the ball in the paint. The junior center completed the three-point play to come within one, 77-78. The Mean Green defense was unable to contain Epps, who pushed the Mavericks’ lead to three, 80-77. Epps answered again with a basket after Young hit a jumper to keep the Mavericks lead at two.
The difference in the game came down to the free throws. The Mean Green was brought to the line only four times, hitting four of six attempts. The Mavericks on the other hand were 23-for-30 from the charity stripe, including 19-for-22 in the second half. In the last five minutes of the game, Texas-Arlington scored six points from the foul line to keep North Texas from taking the lead.
North Texas came back from a 13-point deficit midway through the first period to enter half behind by one, 39-38. The Mavericks scored 13 unanswered points to take a 23-10 advantage.
North Texas returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 18 when it faces Rice at 7 pm on the road.